- a colorless, pungent, suffocating, highly water-soluble, gaseous compound, NH3, usually produced by the direct combination of nitrogen and hydrogen gases: used chiefly for refrigeration and in the manufacture of commercial chemicals and laboratory reagents.
- Also called ammonia solution, ammonia water, aqua ammoniae, aqua ammonia, aqueous ammonia. this gas dissolved in water; ammonium hydroxide.
Origin of ammonia
- a colourless pungent highly soluble gas mainly used in the manufacture of fertilizers, nitric acid, and other nitrogenous compounds, and as a refrigerant and solvent. Formula: NH 3
- a solution of ammonia in water, containing the compound ammonium hydroxide
Word Origin for ammonia
1799, Modern Latin, coined 1782 by Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman (1735-1784) for gas obtained from sal ammoniac, salt deposits containing ammonium chloride found near temple of Jupiter Ammon (from Egyptian God Amun) in Libya, from Greek ammoniakos "belonging to Ammon." The shrine was ancient already in Augustus' day, and the salts were prepared "from the sands where the camels waited while their masters prayed for good omens" [Shipley].
There also was a gum form of sal ammoniac, from a wild plant that grew near the shrine, and across North Africa and Asia. A less likely theory traces the name to Greek Armeniakon "Armenian," because the substance also was found in Armenia. Also known as spirit of hartshorn and volatile or animal alkali.
- A colorless, pungent gas used to manufacture a wide variety of nitrogen-containing organic and inorganic chemicals.
- A colorless alkaline gas that is lighter than air and has a strongly pungent odor. It is used as a fertilizer and refrigerant, in medicine, and in making dyes, textiles, plastics, and explosives. Chemical formula: NH3.