a colorless or yellowish, fuming, suffocating, caustic, corrosive, water-soluble liquid, HNO3, having powerful oxidizing properties, usually obtained from ammonia or from Chile saltpeter: used chiefly in the manufacture of explosives and fertilizers and in organic synthesis.
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Origin of nitric acid
First recorded in 1785–95
Also called aqua fortis.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for nitric acid
a colourless or yellowish fuming corrosive liquid usually used in aqueous solution. It is an oxidizing agent and a strong monobasic acid: important in the manufacture of fertilizers, explosives, and many other chemicals. Formula: HNO 3Former name: aqua fortis
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
Medicine definitions for nitric acid
[ nī′trĭk ]
A transparent, colorless to yellowish, fuming corrosive liquid that is a highly reactive oxidizing agent.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Science definitions for nitric acid
A clear, colorless to yellow liquid that is very corrosive and can dissolve most metals. It is used to make fertilizers, explosives, dyes, and rocket fuels. Chemical formula: HNO3.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.