One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of or containing nitrogen with a lower valence, often three.Compare with nitric
- ‘Similar to nitrous acid, nitric oxide gives rise to reactive nitrous anhydride that can induce nitrosative deamination of DNA bases.’
2Of nitrogen; nitrogenous.‘the effect of nitrous emissions on acid rain’
- ‘It was first synthesized in 1776 by Joseph Priestley and was named ‘diminished nitrous air.’’
Early 17th century: from Latin nitrosus ‘nitrous’.
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