Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A nonmetallic element that constitutes nearly four-fifths of the air by volume, occurring as a colorless, odorless, almost inert diatomic gas, N2, in various minerals and in all proteins and used in a wide variety of important manufactures, including ammonia, nitric acid, TNT, and fertilizers. Atomic number 7; atomic weight 14.0067; melting point -209.86°C; boiling point -195.8°C; valence 3, 5. See Table at element.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A chemical element (symbol N) with an atomic number of 7 and atomic weight of 14.0067.
  • n. Molecular nitrogen (N2), a colorless, odorless gas at room temperature.
  • n. A specific nitrogen within a chemical formula, or a specific isotope of nitrogen

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A colorless nonmetallic element of atomic number 7, tasteless and odorless, comprising four fifths of the atmosphere by volume in the form of molecular nitrogen (N2). It is chemically very inert in the free state, and as such is incapable of supporting life (hence the name azote still used by French chemists); but it forms many important compounds, such as ammonia, nitric acid, the cyanides, etc, and is a constituent of all organized living tissues, animal or vegetable. Symbol N. Atomic weight 14.007. It was formerly regarded as a permanent noncondensible gas, but was liquefied in 1877 by Cailletet of Paris, and Pictet of Geneva, and boils at -195.8 ° C at atmospheric pressure. Liquid nitrogen is used as a refrigerant to store delicate materials, such as bacteria, cells, and other biological materials.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Chemical symbol, N; atomic weight, 14. An element existing in nature as a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas, reducible to a liquid under extreme pressure and cold.
  • n. The boiling-point of liquid nitrogen under ordinary atmospheric pressure is -194.4° C. or -317.9° F. For the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen by growing plants, see nitragin.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a common nonmetallic element that is normally a colorless odorless tasteless inert diatomic gas; constitutes 78 percent of the atmosphere by volume; a constituent of all living tissues

Etymologies

French nitrogène : nitro-, nitric acid (from New Latin; see nitro-) + -gène, -gen.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French nitrogène (coined by Lavoisier), corresponding to nitro- + -gen. (Wiktionary)

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