Definition of nitrous oxide in US English:

nitrous oxide


  • A colorless gas with a sweetish odor, prepared by heating ammonium nitrate. It produces exhilaration or anesthesia when inhaled and is used as an anesthetic and as an aerosol propellant.

    Chemical formula: N₂O

    Also called laughing gas
    • ‘He underwent surgery under general anaesthesia with oxygen in nitrous oxide.’
    • ‘This patient, a young woman, had obtained her nitrous oxide from cartridges of nitrous oxide used to aerate cream.’
    • ‘These gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, absorb heat more readily than do the main constituents of our atmosphere, oxygen and nitrogen.’
    • ‘Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and other gases are known collectively as greenhouse gases because they trap heat in the atmosphere.’
    • ‘Other trace gases include methane, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and ozone.’


nitrous oxide

/ˈnaɪtrəs ˈɑkˌsaɪd/