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  1. potassium nitrate.
  2. sodium nitrate.
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Also especially British, ni·tre.

Origin of niter

1375–1425; late Middle English nitre < Latin nitrum < Greek nítron natron
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for niter

Historical Examples

  • Probably extract their niter from the dung of their horses and cows.

    The Return

    H. Beam Piper and John J. McGuire

  • In Death Valley thirty thousand acres of borax, niter, soda, and salt deposits have been located.

    The Mystic Mid-Region

    Arthur J. Burdick

  • We therefore conclude, that either the niter or the small excess of potassium bromide, or both together, produce the change.

  • To burn well the paper should first be impregnated with an aqueous solution of niter and dried.

  • Usually the niter will relieve the constipation; yet if it should prove obstinate, laxatives may be carefully given.

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse

    United States Department of Agriculture

British Dictionary definitions for niter


  1. the usual US spelling of nitre
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for niter

see nitre.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

niter in Science


  1. A naturally occurring mineral form of potassium nitrate. It is used to make gunpowder.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.