nitrous oxide

noun

Definition of nitrous oxide

: a colorless gas N2O that when inhaled produces loss of sensibility to pain preceded by exhilaration and sometimes laughter, that is used especially as an anesthetic in dentistry and as a fuel, and that is an atmospheric pollutant and greenhouse gas produced by combustion

called also laughing gas

— compare nitric oxide

Examples of nitrous oxide in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Fertilizer also emits nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "Food and farming could stymie climate efforts, researchers say," 5 Nov. 2020 While most of the methane emissions at a feedlot come directly from the cattle, manure also emits methane as well as nitrous oxide, which is an even more potent greenhouse gas. New York Times, "Belching Cows and Endless Feedlots: Fixing Cattle’s Climate Issues," 20 Oct. 2020 On this day his equipment was measuring nitrous oxide emissions from the surface of an empty pen whose occupants had been shipped to a slaughterhouse days before. New York Times, "Belching Cows and Endless Feedlots: Fixing Cattle’s Climate Issues," 20 Oct. 2020 Those standards, from the International Civil Aviation Organization, use a fuel efficiency metric to encourage reductions in carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide from new aircraft engines. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: First US oil company sets goal for net-zero emissions," 20 Oct. 2020 Significant curbs from high-emitting countries would go a long way toward slowing the accumulation of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere. Laura Millan Lombrana, Bloomberg.com, "Nitrous Oxide Is Leaking Into the Atmosphere at a Dangerous Pace," 7 Oct. 2020 Ammonium nitrate fumes created the white smoke seen in videos of the explosion’s aftermath, toxic nitrous oxide formed the red and brown smoke, as chemist Stewart Walker of Flinders University in South Australia, told Reuters. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Beirut Blast Was Among History’s Largest Accidental Explosions," 7 Oct. 2020 Even cooler, by adding nitrogen or nitrous oxide to your caffeinated beverage, your drink will taste better, have less acidity, and stay fresh much longer. Stack Commerce, Popular Science, "Celebrate National Coffee Day with these highly caffeinated deals," 1 Oct. 2020 Reducing some non-CO2 greenhouse gases, such as nitrous oxide produced from fertilizer run-offs, can be much harder than finding replacements for fossil fuels. Akshat Rathi, Bloomberg.com, "It's Time to Stop Confusing Key Climate Terms," 29 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nitrous oxide.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nitrous oxide

1798, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for nitrous oxide

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The first known use of nitrous oxide was in 1798

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Statistics for nitrous oxide

Last Updated

14 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nitrous oxide.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nitrous%20oxide. Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for nitrous oxide

nitrous oxide

noun

English Language Learners Definition of nitrous oxide

: a gas that is used by dentists to keep patients from feeling pain

nitrous oxide

noun

Medical Definition of nitrous oxide

: a colorless gas N2O that when inhaled produces loss of sensibility to pain preceded by exhilaration and sometimes laughter and is used especially as an anesthetic in dentistry

called also laughing gas

More from Merriam-Webster on nitrous oxide

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about nitrous oxide

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