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


Chemistry. a salt or ester of nitric acid, or any compound containing the univalent group –ONO2 or NO3.
fertilizer consisting of potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate.
cellulose nitrate, a substance used as a film base in the early days of filmmaking.
Informal. nitrate film.

verb (used with object), ni·trat·ed, ni·trat·ing.

to treat with nitric acid or a nitrate.
to convert into a nitrate.

Origin of nitrate

First recorded in 1785–95; nitr- + -ate2
Related formsni·tra·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nitrate

Historical Examples of nitrate

British Dictionary definitions for nitrate



any salt or ester of nitric acid, such as sodium nitrate, NaNO 3
a fertilizer consisting of or containing nitrate salts


(tr) to treat with nitric acid or a nitrate
to convert or be converted into a nitrate
to undergo or cause to undergo the chemical process in which a nitro group is introduced into a molecule
Derived Formsnitration, 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

Word Origin and History for nitrate

1794, from French nitrate (1787) or formed in English from nitre + -ate (3). Related: Nitrates.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nitrate in Medicine


[nītrāt′, -trĭt]


The univalent radical NO3.
A compound containing such a radical, such as a salt or ester of nitric acid.


To treat with nitric acid or a nitrate, usually to change an organic compound into a nitrate.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

nitrate in Science



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.