• synonyms


noun Chemistry.
  1. cellulose nitrate.
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Origin of nitrocellulose

First recorded in 1880–85; nitro- + cellulose
Related formsni·tro·cel·lu·lo·sic, ni·tro·cel·lu·lous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nitrocellulose

Historical Examples

  • Collodion is a solution of nitrocellulose in a mixture of alcohol and ether.

    An Elementary Study of Chemistry

    William McPherson

  • When cotton is plentiful, nitrocellulose is made as follows.

  • For ballistite the nitrocellulose is beaten up with nitroglycerine in water.

  • A motion-picture film is a thin ribbon of transparent pyroxylin plastic or nitrocellulose, which is highly inflammable.

  • Noddite: a strip sporting-rifle powder containing nitroglycerine, nitrocellulose, mineral jelly.

British Dictionary definitions for nitrocellulose


  1. another name (not in chemical usage) for cellulose nitrate
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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

nitrocellulose in Medicine


(nī′trō-sĕlyə-lōs′, -lōz′)
  1. cellulose nitrate
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

nitrocellulose in Science


  1. A pulpy or cottonlike polymer derived from cellulose treated with sulfuric and nitric acids. It is used in the manufacture of explosives, plastics, and solid propellants.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.