1. <chemistry> A white crystalline semitransparent salt; potassium nitrate; saltpeter. See Saltpeter.

2. <chemistry> Native sodium carbonate; natron. "For though thou wash thee with niter, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me." (Jer. Ii. 22) Cubic niter, a deliquescent salt, sodium nitrate, found as a native incrustation, like niter, in Peru and Chili, whence it is known also as Chili saltpeter.

<botany> Niter bush, a genus (Nitraria) of thorny shrubs bearing edible berries, and growing in the saline plains of Asia and Northern Africa.

Origin: F. Nitre, L. Nitrum native soda, natron, Gr.; cf. Ar. Nitn, natrn natron. Cf. Natron.

<chemistry> See Niter.

American spelling: niter

(01 Mar 1998)

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