• synonyms


[nahy-truh-fi-key-shuh n]
  1. the act of nitrifying.
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Origin of nitrification

First recorded in 1820–30; nitr- + -i- + -fication
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nitrification

Historical Examples

  • They will be fully discussed in the chapter on Nitrification.

    Manures and the principles of manuring

    Charles Morton Aikman

  • He also showed that metabiosis played an important part in nitrification.

  • Excess of water drowns the humus, and nitrification cannot go on in a soil the pores of which are closed by excess of moisture.

    The Dwelling House

    George Vivian Poore

  • No substance is so favourable to nitrification as the natural stony concretion known under the name of lime-tuf.

  • The presence of moisture in the soil is necessary for the process of nitrification to take place.

    The First Book of Farming

    Charles L. Goodrich

British Dictionary definitions for nitrification


  1. the oxidation of the ammonium compounds in dead organic material into nitrites and nitrates by soil nitrobacteria, making nitrogen available to plantsSee also nitrogen cycle
    1. the addition of a nitro group to an organic compound
    2. the substitution of a nitro group for another group in an organic compound
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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 nitrification


1827, from French nitrification (1787, de Morveau), from nitrifier (1777), from nitre (see nitre).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nitrification in Medicine


  1. The oxidation of an ammonia compound into nitric acid, nitrous acid, or any nitrate or nitrite, especially by the action of bacteria.
  2. The treatment or combination of a substance with nitrogen or compounds containing nitrogen.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

nitrification in Science


  1. The process by which bacteria in soil and water oxidize ammonia and ammonium ions and form nitrites and nitrates. Because the nitrates can be absorbed by more complex organisms, as by the roots of green plants, nitrification is an important step in the nitrogen cycle.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.