[ noun nahy-treyt, -trit; verb nahy-treyt ]

  1. Chemistry. a salt or ester of nitric acid, or any compound containing the univalent group –ONO2 or NO3.

  2. fertilizer consisting of potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate.

verb (used with object),ni·trat·ed, ni·trat·ing.
  1. to treat with nitric acid or a nitrate.

  2. to convert into a nitrate.

Origin of nitrate

First recorded in 1785–95; nitr- + -ate2

Other words from nitrate

  • ni·tra·tion, noun

Words Nearby nitrate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use nitrate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for nitrate


/ (ˈnaɪtreɪt) /

  1. any salt or ester of nitric acid, such as sodium nitrate, NaNO 3

  2. a fertilizer consisting of or containing nitrate salts

  1. (tr) to treat with nitric acid or a nitrate

  2. to convert or be converted into a nitrate

  1. to undergo or cause to undergo the chemical process in which a nitro group is introduced into a molecule

Derived forms of nitrate

  • nitration, noun

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

Scientific definitions for nitrate


[ trāt′ ]

  1. A salt or ester of nitric acid, containing the group NO3. Nitrates dissolve extremely easily in water and are an important component of the nitrogen cycle. Compare nitrite.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.