from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To oxidize (an ammonia compound) into a nitrite or (a nitrite) into a nitrate, especially by the action of nitrifying bacteria.
  • transitive verb To treat or combine with nitrogen or compounds containing nitrogen.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To convert into niter.
  • To be converted into niter.
  • To impregnate (the soil) with nitrates in order to stimulate the growth of plants.
  • In bacteriology, to oxidize (ammonia compounds) to nitrites or (nitrites) to nitrates, by bacterial action.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb (Chem.) To combine or impregnate with nitrogen; to convert, by oxidation, into nitrous or nitric acid; to subject to, or produce by, nitrification.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive to treat, or react with nitrogen or a nitrogen-containing compound
  • verb transitive to convert ammonia or similar compound to a nitrate by oxidation, especially by the action of a microorganism

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

  • verb treat with nitrogen or a nitrogen compound
  • verb convert into nitric acid, nitrous acid, or nitrate, especially with the action of nitrobacteria
  • verb treat (soil) with nitrates


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • You could not expect it to nitrify humus while it was also being required to digest organic matter.

    Organic Gardener's Composting

  • It can't digest crude organic matter and simultaneously nitrify humus.

    Organic Gardener's Composting

  • A thin layer of solution will nitrify sooner than a deep layer, owing to the larger proportion of oxygen available.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 470, January 3, 1885

  • R. Warington, J.T. Schloessing, C.A. Müntz and others had proved that nitrification was promoted by some organism, when Winogradsky hit on the happy idea of isolating the organism by using gelatinous silica, and so avoiding the difficulties which Warington had shown to exist with the organism in presence of organic nitrogen, owing to its refusal to nitrify on gelatine or other nitrogenous media.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 2 "Baconthorpe" to "Bankruptcy"

  • Warington at Rothamsted, who showed that the power of nitrification could be communicated to media, which did not nitrify, by simply seeding them with a nitrifying substance, and that light was unfavourable to the process.

    Manures and the principles of manuring

  • At any rate it seems to be invariably the case that when a mixture of nitrogen compounds, including ammonia salts, are allowed to nitrify, the nitrogen in the form of ammonia is the first to become nitrified.

    Manures and the principles of manuring

  • This is the reason why strong urine solutions do not nitrify.

    Manures and the principles of manuring

  • It said measures needed to be put in place to de-nitrify the final effluent; phosphorus removal may also be required.

    An Irish Town Planner's Blog

  • After separation of the solids, approximately 6 - 8 hours of aerobic treatment will breakdown the BOD and nitrify the ammonia quite nicely.



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