Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Nisey noun ; plural Nyseys . A simpleton. [ Obsolete]

Nisi conj. [ Latin ] Unless; if not.

» In legal proceedings, this word is used to indicate that any order, etc., shall take effect at a given time, unless before that time the order, etc., in modified, or something else is done to prevent its taking effect. Continuance nisi is a conditional continuance of the case till the next term of the court, unless otherwise disposed of in the mean time.

Nisi prius (Law) , unless before; -- a phrase applied to terms of court, held generally by a single judge, with a jury, for the trial of civil causes. The term originated in a legal fiction. An issue of fact being made up, it is, according to the English practice, appointed by the entry on the record, or written proceedings, to be tried by a jury from the county of which the proceedings are dated, at Westminster, unless before the day appointed ( nisi prius ) the judges shall have come to the county in question (which they always do) and there try the cause. See In banc , under Banc .

Niste [ Contr. from ne wiste .] Wist not; knew not. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Nisus noun [ Latin , from niti , past participle nisus , to strive.] A striving; an effort; a conatus.

A nisus or energizing towards a presented object.

Nisus noun (Physiol.) (a) The periodic procreative desire manifested in the spring by birds, etc. (b) The contraction of the diaphragm and abdominal muscles to evacuate feces or urine.

Nit noun [ Anglo-Saxon hnitu ; akin to Dutch neet , German niss , Old High German niz ; confer Greek ..., ..., Icelandic gnit , Swedish gnet , Danish gnid , Russian & Pol. gnida , Bohem. hnida, W. nedd .] (Zoology) The egg of a louse or other small insect.

Nit grass (Botany) , a pretty annual European grass ( Gastridium lendigerum ), with small spikelets somewhat resembling a nit. It is also found in California and Chili.

Nitency noun [ Latin nitens , present participle of nitere to shine.] Brightness; luster. [ R.]

Nitency noun [ From Latin nitens , present participle of niti to strive.] Endeavor; effort; tendency. [ R.] Boyle.

Niter, Nitre noun [ French nitre , Latin nitrum native soda, natron, Greek ...; confer Arabic nitūn , natrūn natron. Confer Natron .]
1. (Chemistry) A white crystalline semitransparent salt; potassium nitrate; saltpeter. See Saltpeter .

2. (Chemistry) Native sodium carbonate; natron. [ Obsolete]

For though thou wash thee with niter , and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me.
Jer. ii. 22.

Cubic niter , a deliquescent salt, sodium nitrate, found as a native incrustation, like niter, in Peru and Chili, whence it is known also as Chili saltpeter . -- Niter bush (Botany) , a genus ( Nitraria ) of thorny shrubs bearing edible berries, and growing in the saline plains of Asia and Northern Africa.

Nithing noun [ Obsolete] See Niding .

Nitid adjective [ Latin nitidus , from nitere . See 3d Neat .]
1. Bright; lustrous; shining. [ R.] Boyle.

2. Gay; spruce; fine; -- said of persons. [ R.] T. Reeve.

Nitranilic adjective [ Nitro- + chlor anil + -ic .] (Chemistry) Of, pertaining to, or designating, a complex organic acid produced as a white crystalline substance by the action of nitrous acid on hydroquinone.

Nitraniline noun [ Nitro- + aniline .] (Chemistry) Any one of a series of nitro derivatives of aniline. In general they are yellow crystalline substances.

Nitrate noun [ Confer French nitrate .] (Chemistry) A salt of nitric acid.

Nitrate of silver , a white crystalline salt (AgNO 3 ), used in photography and as a cauterizing agent; - - called also lunar caustic .

Nitrated adjective
1. (Chemistry) Combined, or impregnated, with nitric acid, or some of its compounds.

2. (Photog.) Prepared with nitrate of silver.

Nitratine noun (Min.) A mineral occurring in transparent crystals, usually of a white, sometimes of a reddish gray, or lemon-yellow, color; native sodium nitrate. It is used in making nitric acid and for manure. Called also soda niter .

Nitre noun (Chemistry) See Niter .

Nitriary noun [ See Niter .] An artificial bed of animal matter for the manufacture of niter by nitrification. See Nitrification , 2.

Nitric adjective [ Confer French nitrique . See Niter .] (Chemistry) Of, pertaining to, or containing, nitrogen; specifically, designating any one of those compounds in which, as contrasted with nitrous compounds, the element has a higher valence; as, nitric oxide; nitric acid.

Nitric acid , a colorless or yellowish liquid obtained by distilling a nitrate with sulphuric acid. It is powerfully corrosive, being a strong acid, and in decomposition a strong oxidizer. -- Nitric anhydride , a white crystalline oxide of nitrogen (N 2 O 5 ), called nitric pentoxide , and regarded as the anhydride of nitric acid. -- Nitric oxide , a colorless poisous gas (NO) obtained by treating nitric acid with copper. On contact with the air or with oxygen, it becomes reddish brown from the formation of nitric dioxide or peroxide.

Nitride noun [ from Nitrogen .] (Chemistry) A binary compound of nitrogen with a more metallic element or radical; as, boric nitride .

Nitriferous adjective [ Niter + -ferous .] Bearing niter; yielding, or containing, niter.

Nitrification noun [ Confer French nitrification . see Nitrify .]
1. (Chemistry) (a) The act, process, or result of combining with nitrogen or some of its compounds. (b) The act or process of oxidizing nitrogen or its compounds so as to form nitrous or nitric acid.

2. A process of oxidation, in which nitrogenous vegetable and animal matter in the presence of air, moisture, and some basic substances, as lime or alkali carbonate, is converted into nitrates.

» The process is going on at all times in porous soils and in water contaminated with nitrogenous matter, and is supposed to be due to the presence of an organized ferment or ferments, called nitrification ferments . In former times the process was extensively made use of in the production of saltpeter.

Nitrifier noun (Chemistry) An agent employed in nitrification.

Nitrify transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Nitrified ; present participle & verbal noun Nitrifying .] [ Niter + -fy : confer French nitrifer . See Niter .] (Chemistry) To combine or impregnate with nitrogen; to convert, by oxidation, into nitrous or nitric acid; to subject to, or produce by, nitrification.

Nitrile noun [ See Nitro- .] (Chemistry) Any one of a series of cyanogen compounds; particularly, one of those cyanides of alcohol radicals which, by boiling with acids or alkalies, produce a carboxyl acid, with the elimination of the nitrogen as ammonia.

» The nitriles are named with reference to the acids produced by their decomposition, thus, hydrocyanic acid is formic nitrile , and methyl cyanide is acetic nitrile .

Nitrite noun [ Confer French nitrite . See Niter .] (Chemistry) A salt of nitrous acid.

Amyl nitrite , a yellow oily volatile liquid, used in medicine as a depressant and a vaso-dilator. Its inhalation produces an instantaneous flushing of the face.

1. A combining form or an adjective denoting the presence of niter .

2. (Chemistry) A combining form (used also adjectively) designating certain compounds of nitrogen or of its acids , as nitro hydrochloric, nitro calcite; also, designating the group or radical NO 2 , or its compounds , as nitro benzene.

Nitro group , the radical NO 2 ; -- called also nitroxyl .

Nitro-chloroform noun [ Nitro- + chloroform .] (Chemistry) Same as Chlorpicrin .

Nitrobenzene noun [ Nitro- + benzene .] (Chemistry) A yellow aromatic liquid (C 6 H 5 .NO 2 ), produced by the action of nitric acid on benzene, and called from its odor imitation oil of bitter almonds , or essence of mirbane . It is used in perfumery, and is manufactured in large quantities in the preparation of aniline. Fornerly called also nitrobenzol .

Nitrobenzol, Nitrobenzole (... or ...) }, noun See Nitrobenzene .

Nitrocalcite noun [ Nitro- + calcite .] (Min.) Nitrate of calcium, a substance having a grayish white color, occuring in efflorescences on old walls, and in limestone caves, especially where there exists decaying animal matter.

Nitrocarbol noun [ Nitro- + carbon + Latin ol eum oil.] (Chemistry) See Nitromethane .

Nitrocellulose noun [ Nitro- + cellulose .] (Chemistry) See Gun cotton , under Gun .

Nitroform noun [ Nitro- + form yl.] (Chemistry) A nitro derivative of methane, analogous to chloroform, obtained as a colorless oily or crystalline substance, CH.(NO 2 ) 3 , quite explosive, and having well-defined acid properties.

Nitrogelatin noun [ Nitro- + gelatin .] An explosive consisting of gun cotton and camphor dissolved in nitroglycerin. [ Written also nitrogelatine .]

Nitrogen noun [ Latin nitrum natron + -gen : confer French nitrogène . See Niter .] (Chemistry) A colorless nonmetallic element, tasteless and odorless, comprising four fifths of the atmosphere by volume. It is chemically very inert in the free state, and as such is incapable of supporting life (hence the name azote still used by French chemists); but it forms many important compounds, as ammonia, nitric acid, the cyanides, etc, and is a constituent of all organized living tissues, animal or vegetable. Symbol N. Atomic weight 14. It was formerly regarded as a permanent noncondensible gas, but was liquefied in 1877 by Cailletet of Paris, and Pictet of Geneva.

Nitrogenize transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Nitrogenized ; present participle & verbal noun Nitrogenizing .] (Chemistry) To combine, or impregnate, with nitrogen or its compounds.

Nitrogenous adjective (Chemistry) Of, pertaining to, or resembling, nitrogen; as, a nitrogenous principle; nitrogenous compounds.

Nitrogenous foods . See 2d Note under Food , noun , 1.

Nitroglycerin noun [ Nitro- + glycerinn .] (Chemistry) A liquid appearing like a heavy oil, colorless or yellowish, and consisting of a mixture of several glycerin salts of nitric acid, and hence more properly called glycerin nitrate . It is made by the action of nitric acid on glycerin in the presence of sulphuric acid. It is extremely unstable and terribly explosive. A very dilute solution is used in medicine as a neurotic under the name of glonion . [ Written also nitroglycerine .]

» A great number of explosive compounds have been produced by mixing nitroglycerin with different substances; as, dynamite , or giant powder , nitroglycerin mixed with siliceous earth; lithofracteur , nitroglycerin with gunpowder, or with sawdust and nitrate of sodium or barium; Colonia powder , gunpowder with nitroglycerin; dualin , nitroglycerin with sawdust, or with sawdust and nitrate of potassium and some other substances; lignose , wood fiber and nitroglycerin.

Nitrohydrochloric adjective [ Nitro- + hydrochloric .] (Chemistry) Of, pertaining to, or containing, nitric and hydrochloric acids.

Nitrohydrochloric acid , a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids, usually in the proportion of one part of the former to three of the latter, and remarkable for its solvent action on gold and platinum; -- called also nitromuriatic acid , and aqua regia .

Nitrol noun (Chemistry) Any one of a series of hydrocarbons containing the nitro and the nitroso or isonitroso group united to the same carbon atom.

Nitroleum noun [ New Latin , from Latin nitrum natron + oleum oil.] (Chemistry) Nitroglycerin.

Nitrolic adjective (Chemistry) Of, derived from, or designating, a nitrol; as, a nitrolic acid.

Nitromagnesite noun [ Nitro- + magnesite .] (Chemistry) Nitrate of magnesium, a saline efflorescence closely resembling nitrate of calcium.

Nitrometer noun [ Nitro- + -meter : confer French nitromètre .] (Chemistry) An apparatus for determining the amount of nitrogen or some of its compounds in any substance subjected to analysis; an azotometer.

Nitromethane noun [ Nitro- + methane .] (Chemistry) A nitro derivative of methane obtained as a mobile liquid; -- called also nitrocarbol .

Nitromuriatic adjective [ Confer French nitromuriatique . See Nitro- , and Muriatic .] (Chemistry) Of, pertaining to, or composed of, nitric acid and muriatic acid; nitrohydrochloric. See Nitrohydrochloric .

Nitrophnol noun [ Nitro- + phenol .] (Chemistry) Any one of a series of nitro derivatives of phenol. They are yellow oily or crystalline substances and have well-defined acid properties, as picric acid.

Nitroprussic adjective [ Nitro- + prussic .] (Chemistry) Pertaining to, derived from, or designating, a complex acid called nitroprussic acid, obtained indirectly by the action of nitric acid on potassium ferrocyanide (yellow prussiate), as a red crystalline unstable substance. It forms salts called nitroprussides , which give a rich purple color with alkaline sulphides.

Nitroprusside noun See Nitroprussic .