sodium nitrite


Chemistry. a yellowish or white crystalline compound, NaNO2, soluble in water, slightly soluble in alcohol and ether: used in the manufacture of dyes and as a color fixative.
Nutrition. this compound added to food as a preservative and for flavor and color, especially in pork, fish, and beef products: implicated in the formation of suspected carcinogens.

Nearby words

  1. sodium meta-arsenite,
  2. sodium metasilicate,
  3. sodium methylate,
  4. sodium monoxide,
  5. sodium nitrate,
  6. sodium nitroprusside,
  7. sodium pentothal,
  8. sodium perborate,
  9. sodium peroxide,
  10. sodium phosphate

Origin of sodium nitrite

First recorded in 1900–05

Also called nitrite. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Medicine definitions for sodium nitrite

sodium nitrite


A white crystalline compound used to lower systemic blood pressure, to relieve local vasomotor spasms, to relax bronchial and intestinal spasms, and as an antidote for cyanide poisoning.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.