• synonyms


verb (used with object), ni·tri·fied, ni·tri·fy·ing.
  1. to oxidize (ammonia, ammonium compounds, or atmospheric nitrogen) to nitrites, nitrates, or their respective acids, especially by bacterial action.
  2. to impregnate with nitrogen or nitrogen compounds.
  3. to treat or combine with nitrogen or its compounds.
  4. (formerly) to convert into niter.
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Origin of nitrify

From the French word nitrifier, dating back to 1820–30. See nitr-, niter, -i-, -fy
Related formsni·tri·fi·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nitrify

Historical Examples

  • A thin layer of solution will nitrify sooner than a deep layer, owing to the larger proportion of oxygen available.

    Scientific American Supplement, Vol. XIX, No. 470, Jan. 3, 1885


British Dictionary definitions for nitrify


verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)
  1. to treat or cause to react with nitrogen or a nitrogen compound
  2. to treat (soil) with nitrates
  3. (of nitrobacteria) to convert (ammonium compounds) into nitrates by oxidation
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Derived Formsnitrifiable, adjective
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