potassium nitrate

noun Chemistry.

a crystalline compound, KNO3, produced by nitrification in soil, and used in gunpowders, fertilizers, and preservatives; saltpeter; niter.

Nearby words

  1. potassium hydrogen tartrate,
  2. potassium hydroxide,
  3. potassium iodide,
  4. potassium monophosphate,
  5. potassium myronate,
  6. potassium oxalate,
  7. potassium permanganate,
  8. potassium phosphate,
  9. potassium sulfate,
  10. potassium sulphate

Origin of potassium nitrate

First recorded in 1880–85

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for potassium nitrate

potassium nitrate


a colourless or white crystalline compound used in gunpowders, pyrotechnics, fertilizers, and as a preservative for foods, esp as a curing salt for ham, sausages, etc (E252). Formula: KNO 3Also called: saltpetre, nitre
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

Science definitions for potassium nitrate

potassium nitrate

A transparent, white, crystalline compound and strong oxidizing agent. It is used in gunpowder and fireworks, in making glass, and in fertilizer. Also called saltpeter. Chemical formula: KNO3. See also niter.
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