\ yu̇-ˈrē-ə How to pronounce urea (audio) \

Definition of urea

: a soluble weakly basic nitrogenous compound CO(NH2)2 that is the chief solid component of mammalian urine and an end product of protein decomposition, is synthesized from carbon dioxide and ammonia, and is used especially in synthesis (as of resins and plastics) and in fertilizers and animal rations

Examples of urea in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And back in March, a paper by an international team of scientists suggested that astronauts setting up a base on the Moon could use the urea in their urine as a plasticizer to create a concrete-like building material out of lunar soil. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Chitin could be used to build tools and habitats on Mars, study finds," 22 Sep. 2020 Earlier this year, a team of European researchers demonstrated that urea, the second most common compound in human urine after water, can be mixed with moon dirt and used for construction. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "On the Moon, Astronaut Pee Will Be a Hot Commodity," 22 May 2020 The situation may affect the market for fertilizers, particularly phosphate and urea, Jason Miner, senior global chemicals analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence said by email. Yuliya Fedorinova, Bloomberg.com, "Russia Warns of Trade ‘Volatility’ With China on Virus Risk," 10 May 2020 If ointment leaves your child feeling greasy, use a cream with glycyrrhetinic acid, urea, glycerol or oats in it. Hallie Levine, New York Times, "What to Do About Your Kid’s Eczema," 17 Apr. 2020 The company produces nitrogen fertilizers and industrial chemicals such as methanol and urea from plants in North Africa, the Middle East, Texas and Iowa. Robert Faturechi, ProPublica, "Senate Intel Chair Sold Dutch Fertilizer Stock in 2018, Right Before a Collapse," 7 Apr. 2020 The two main components of this body fluid are water and urea, a molecule that allows the hydrogen bonds to be broken and therefore reduces the viscosities of many aqueous mixtures. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study: Future astronauts could use their own urine to help build moon bases," 31 Mar. 2020 The sample cylinders made with urea and naphthalene could hold the heavy weights and retain a mostly stable shape. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Moon bases could be built using astronaut urine," 31 Mar. 2020 Newer formulations include substances that slow nutrient delivery still further, by retarding the conversion of starting materials, such as urea, to nutrients. Scientific American, "Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2019," 1 Dec. 2019

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

1806, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for urea

New Latin, from French urée, from urine

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Cite this Entry

“Urea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/urea. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for urea



English Language Learners Definition of urea

technical : a substance that contains nitrogen, is found in the urine of mammals and some fish, and is used in some kinds of fertilizer


\ yu̇-ˈrē-ə How to pronounce urea (audio) \

Kids Definition of urea

: a compound of nitrogen that is the chief solid substance dissolved in the urine of a mammal and is formed by the breaking down of protein


\ yu̇-ˈrē-ə How to pronounce urea (audio) \

Medical Definition of urea

: a soluble weakly basic nitrogenous compound CH4N2O that is the chief solid component of mammalian urine and an end product of protein decomposition and that is administered intravenously as a diuretic drug

called also carbamide

More from Merriam-Webster on urea

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about urea

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