One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A colourless gas with a sweetish odour, prepared by heating ammonium nitrate. It produces exhilaration or anaesthesia when inhaled and is used (mixed with oxygen) as an anaesthetic and as an aerosol propellant.
- ‘He underwent surgery under general anaesthesia with oxygen in nitrous oxide.’
- ‘These gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, absorb heat more readily than do the main constituents of our atmosphere, oxygen and nitrogen.’
- ‘Other trace gases include methane, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and ozone.’
- ‘Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and other gases are known collectively as greenhouse gases because they trap heat in the atmosphere.’
- ‘This patient, a young woman, had obtained her nitrous oxide from cartridges of nitrous oxide used to aerate cream.’
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