Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


or saltpetre

[sawlt-pee-ter] /ˌsɔltˈpi tər/
the form of potassium nitrate, KNO 3 , that occurs naturally, used in the manufacture of fireworks, fluxes, gunpowder, etc.; niter.
Origin of saltpeter
1275-1325; earlier salt peter; replacing Middle English sal peter, salpetre < Medieval Latin salpetrē, for Latin sal petrae salt of rock, so called because it commonly encrusts stones Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for saltpeter
Historical Examples
Word Origin and History for saltpeter

"potassium nitrate," c.1500, earlier salpetre (early 14c.), from Old French salpetre, from Medieval Latin sal petrae "salt of rock," from Latin sal "salt" (see salt (n.)) + petra "rock, stone" (see petrous). So called because it looks like salt encrusted on rock.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
saltpeter in Science
See potassium nitrate.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for saltpeter

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for saltpeter

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for saltpeter