1. Of, pertaining to, or containing, niter; of the quality of niter, or resembling it.

2. <chemistry> Of, pertaining to, or designating, any one of those compounds in which nitrogen has a relatively lower valence as contrasted with nitric compounds.

<chemistry> Nitrous acid, a hypothetical acid of nitrogen HNO2, not known in the free state, but forming a well known series of salts, viz, the nitrites. Nitrous oxide. See Laughing gas.

Origin: L. Nitrosus full of natron: cf. F. Nitreux. See Niter.

(01 Mar 1998)

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