- the form of potassium nitrate, KNO3, that occurs naturally, used in the manufacture of fireworks, fluxes, gunpowder, etc.; niter.
- Chile saltpeter.
Origin of saltpeter
1275–1325; earlier salt peter; replacing Middle English sal peter, salpetre < Medieval Latin salpetrē, for Latin sal petrae salt of rock, so called because it commonly encrusts stones
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for saltpeter
They found a place where saltpeter was very thinly and erratically distributed.Space Prison
Drain off the liquid the next day and add a pound of saltpeter to it.Mushrooms: how to grow them
In 1792, it was the Venetian Embassy, under the Terreur a saltpeter factory.Historic Paris
Jetta S. Wolff
Dissolve the saltpeter in the vitriol and add it to the water.Secrets of Wise Men, Chemists and Great Physicians
William K. David
Corned and smoked meats are usually preserved with saltpeter.Detection of the Common Food Adulterants
Edwin M. Bruce
Word Origin and History for saltpeter
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- See potassium nitrate.
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