• synonyms


  1. Chemistry. a salt or ester of nitrous acid.
  2. Nutrition. sodium nitrite.
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Origin of nitrite

First recorded in 1790–1800; nitr- + -ite1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for nitrite


  1. any salt or ester of nitrous acid
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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

nitrite in Medicine


  1. The univalent radical NO2.
  2. A compound containing such a radical, such as a salt or ester of nitrous acid.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

nitrite in Science


  1. A salt or ester of nitrous acid, containing the group NO2. Nitrites are an important component of the nitrogen cycle and are used as food preservatives. Compare nitrate.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.