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nitrous oxide

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noun Chemistry, Pharmacology.
  1. a colorless, sweet-smelling, sweet-tasting, nonflammable, slightly water-soluble gas, N2O, that sometimes produces a feeling of exhilaration when inhaled: used chiefly as an anesthetic in dentistry and surgery, in the manufacture of chemicals, and as an aerosol.
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Origin of nitrous oxide

First recorded in 1790–1800
Also called laughing gas.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nitrous oxide

Historical Examples

  • To him is to be credited the first operation ever performed without pain by the use of nitrous-oxide gas.

    An Epitome of the History of Medicine

    Roswell Park

  • In 1844, Horace Wells, a native of Vermont, discovered that the inhalation of nitrous-oxide gas produces anaesthesia.

    Stories Of Georgia

    Joel Chandler Harris

  • It was then and not until then that the nitrous-oxide plant began running at anything like its real capacity.


British Dictionary definitions for nitrous oxide

nitrous oxide

noun
  1. a colourless nonflammable slightly soluble gas with a sweet smell: used as an anaesthetic in dentistry and surgery. Formula: N 2 OSystematic name: dinitrogen oxide Also called: laughing gas
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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

nitrous oxide in Medicine

nitrous oxide

n.
  1. A colorless sweet-tasting gas used as a mild anesthetic in dentistry and surgery.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

nitrous oxide in Science

nitrous oxide

  1. A colorless, sweet-smelling gas. It is used as a mild anesthetic, often called laughing gas. Nitrous oxide occurs naturally in the atmosphere and is a greenhouse gas. Chemical formula: N2O.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.