(chiefly of bacteria) remove the nitrates or nitrites from (soil, air, or water) by chemical reduction.
- ‘Still other types of bacteria ‘denitrify’ soil by breaking down its nitrogen compounds and returning free nitrogen to the air.’
- ‘We must find ways to either keep the nitrogen in the field or denitrify the water before it drains into streams and rivers.’
- ‘So, when there is denitrifying bacteria that means the nitrate is being put back into the atmosphere?’
- ‘Much of this additional nitrogen is retained or denitrified in the watershed, but a substantial amount enters groundwater and rivers and eventually is delivered to estuaries and the ocean.’
- ‘Oxygen-depleted waters also provide the perfect environment for the growth of a specialized group of bacteria called denitrifying bacteria.’