American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A transparent, colorless to yellowish, fuming corrosive liquid, HNO3, a highly reactive oxidizing agent used in the production of fertilizers, explosives, and rocket fuels and in a wide variety of industrial metallurgical processes. Also called aqua fortis.
- n. inorganic chemistry A transparent, colourless to pale yellow, fuming corrosive liquid, HNO3; a highly reactive oxidizing agent used in the production of fertilizers, explosives, and rocket fuels and in a wide variety of industrial processes; once called aqua fortis.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. a colorless or yellowish liquid obtained by distilling a nitrate with sulphuric acid. It is powerfully corrosive, being a strong acid, and in decomposition a strong oxidizer.
- n. acid used especially in the production of fertilizers and explosives and rocket fuels
“When the boys finished eating, they hurried back to the launching area, where great tanks of nitric acid and liquid oxygen were being brought alongside the towering rocket.”
“There had only been enough oxygen in Earth's atmosphere to make the oceans about one-hundredth-normal in nitric acid as it combined with the nitrogen, but rain, rivers, and even estuaries had often been much more concentrated during the fix.”
“As the woman had said, the jailbird's hair was long enough to suggest that outdoor attire was not usual for him, and dark enough to indicate little if any exposure to nitric acid rain.”
“The hundredth-normal nitric acid of the oceans was too dilute to color proteins, but the rain was sometimes another matter.”
“Medulic also worked with nitric acid on copper, and, according to some authorities, was the first to engrave with a dry needle.”
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