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