saltpeter

noun
salt·​pe·​ter | \ ˈsȯlt-ˈpē-tər How to pronounce saltpeter (audio) \

Definition of saltpeter

Examples of saltpeter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pour water slowly over the saltpeter so it will be absorbed throughout the stump. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, "How to remove a tree stump the organic way," 30 Jan. 2020 The tour explores a canyon passageway and discusses a 19th-century saltpeter mining operation and the cave’s geologic origins. USA TODAY, "Retiring 102-year-old, Mississippi’s bad dam, snowplow strike: News from around our 50 states," 16 Jan. 2020 Historically, the best natural source of saltpeter, the common name for potassium nitrate, has been from caves caked with bat droppings. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "O say can you see? The science behind the booms and blooms of Independence Day fireworks," 3 July 2018 That offshoot nation traded farmland for huge amounts of saltpeter. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire," 4 June 2018 Historically, the best natural source of saltpeter, the common name for potassium nitrate, has been from caves caked with bat droppings. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "O say can you see? The science behind the booms and blooms of Independence Day fireworks," 3 July 2018 That offshoot nation traded farmland for huge amounts of saltpeter. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire," 4 June 2018 Guano was used for fertilizer, and for saltpeter for making gunpowder. Steve Haycox, Alaska Dispatch News, "The other sesquicentennial: Midway," 20 Oct. 2017 Potash was also an important ingredient in saltpeter, which was in turn an ingredient in gunpowder– Kat Eschner, Smithsonian, "What the First Three Patents Say About Early America," 31 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'saltpeter.' 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 saltpeter

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for saltpeter

Middle English salt petre, alteration of salpetre, from Medieval Latin sal petrae, literally, salt of the rock

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Time Traveler for saltpeter

Time Traveler

The first known use of saltpeter was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Saltpeter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/saltpeter. Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for saltpeter

saltpeter

noun
How to pronounce saltpeter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of saltpeter

: a white powder that exists naturally in some soils and that is used especially as a fertilizer, in medicine, and to make gunpowder

saltpeter

noun
salt·​pe·​ter
variants: or chiefly British saltpetre \ ˈsȯlt-​ˈpēt-​ər How to pronounce saltpetre (audio) \

Medical Definition of saltpeter

More from Merriam-Webster on saltpeter

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about saltpeter

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