Definition of nitrogen in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈnʌɪtrədʒ(ə)n/


[mass noun]
The chemical element of atomic number 7, a colourless, odourless unreactive gas that forms about 78 per cent of the earth’s atmosphere. Liquid nitrogen (made by distilling liquid air) boils at 77.4 kelvins (−195.8°C) and is used as a coolant: bacteria in the root nodules of legumes have the capacity to fix nitrogen from the air (Symbol: N)
More example sentences
  • Plant tissue was ground in liquid nitrogen and the protein extracted as described earlier.
  • The data demonstrate that nitrogen and phosphorus are in especially short supply.
  • This may be due to the different functions of nitrogen and phosphorus in the plant.


Late 18th century: from French nitrogène (see nitre, -gen).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ni¦tro|gen

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.