• WordNet 3.6
    • n saltpeter (KNO3) used especially as a fertilizer and explosive
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Saltpeter (Chem) Potassium nitrate; niter; a white crystalline substance, KNO3, having a cooling saline taste, obtained by leaching from certain soils in which it is produced by the process of nitrification (see Nitrification, 2). It is a strong oxidizer, is the chief constituent of gunpowder, and is also used as an antiseptic in curing meat, and in medicine as a diuretic, diaphoretic, and refrigerant.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n saltpeter A salt called also niter and, in chemical nomenclature, potassium nitrate, or nitrate of potash. See niter.
    • n saltpeter In the tobacco industry, a white saline efflorescence on the midvein and lateral ribs of the curing leaf, consisting usually of a mixture of several salts, sometimes with only a trace of saltpeter. It is thought to be developed by dry weather during the first stages of curing.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. salpêtre, NL. sal petrae, literally, rock salt, or stone salt; so called because it exudes from rocks or walls. See Salt, and Petrify


In literature:

Procure us some iron for the barrels, steel for the hammers, saltpeter.
"The Mysterious Island" by Jules Verne
Having no manufacturing industries which required saltpeter, very little of that was purchasable in our markets.
"The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, Vol. 1 (of 2)" by Jefferson Davis
The saltpeter makes it burn freely, and also helps to give relief.
"The Handy Cyclopedia of Things Worth Knowing" by Joseph Triemens
Keep water before them at all times, adding Saltpeter, one teaspoonful to every gallon of water.
"The Veterinarian" by Chas. J. Korinek
Pickled meats are prepared by the use of condiments, as salt, sugar, vinegar, and saltpeter.
"Human Foods and Their Nutritive Value" by Harry Snyder
They found a place where saltpeter was very thinly and erratically distributed.
"Space Prison" by Tom Godwin
The stuff was common saltpeter.
"As It Was in the Beginning" by Philip Verrill Mighels
De niggers wait there at de bureau and they give 'em hard tack, white potatoes, and saltpeter meat.
"Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States" by Various
Somebody has scattered little piles of saltpeter all over the summit.
"The Fighting Shepherdess" by Caroline Lockhart
Saltpeter, or nitrate of potash, taken in moderate quantities, are very good remedies.
"Searchlights on Health: Light on Dark Corners" by B.G. Jefferis
Fancy it dressed, and with saltpeter rouged.
"The Book of Humorous Verse" by Various
Drain off the liquid the next day and add a pound of saltpeter to it.
"Mushrooms: how to grow them" by William Falconer
More of the Chile saltpeter (nitrate of soda) is required to cause serious trouble.
"Special Report on Diseases of Cattle" by U.S. Department of Agriculture
But the supply of lead and saltpeter is exhausted, and he hopes the agents in Europe will soon send more.
"A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital" by John Beauchamp Jones
Saltpeter won't save him.
"Si Klegg, Book 6 (of 6) Si And Shorty, With Their Boy Recruits, Enter On The Atlanta Campaign" by John McElroy
But "saltpeter in gunpowder is better than no salt at all" is an old axiom among hunters.
"Chiquita, an American Novel" by Merrill Tileston
Deposits of saltpeter are found in the plateau of Kairwan.
"The World and Its People: Book VII" by Anna B. Badlam
One of the men is curing it, with spirits of ammonia and saltpeter.
"The Revellers" by Louis Tracy
To multiply and make saltpeter in any open field, in fower acres of ground, sufficient to serve all our dominions.
"A History of the Growth of the Steam-Engine" by Robert H. Thurston
It becomes yellow in saltpeter, red in vinegar.
"Paul Gauguin, His Life and Art" by John Gould Fletcher

In news:

Established in 1862 in these remote pampas of northern Chile , Humberstone was once a buzzing center of saltpeter mining.
Over time, there have been numerous different black powders , although all were basically a mechanical mixture of carbon, saltpeter, and sulfur.
The street battle scenes are so realistic with firing muskets, flashes, and explosions that the afterburn of saltpeter was more than apparent, at least throughout the orchestra section of the theater.

In science:

This is expected to provide a precise approximation to the two-particle Bethe-Saltpeter equation, yielding accurate muon wavefunctions for the various potentials studied.
Proton form-factor dependence of the finite-size correction to the Lamb shift in muonic hydrogen
We can determine the Bethe Saltpeter wave functions w(R) of the B meson states directly by fitting the ground state contribution (of the form w(R1)w(R2) exp(−mt)) to a hadronic correlator where the operators at sink and source are of spatial size R1 and R2 respectively.
Maximal variance reduction for stochastic propagators with applications to the static quark spectrum
Figure 5: The Bethe Saltpeter wave function of the ¯Qq mesonic states.
Maximal variance reduction for stochastic propagators with applications to the static quark spectrum
We may also explore the Bethe Saltpeter wavefunctions in a similar way as for the B mesons.
Maximal variance reduction for stochastic propagators with applications to the static quark spectrum
We can check this by comparing with L = 8 and by looking at the Bethe-Saltpeter wavefunctions for the different states, as discussed above.
Maximal variance reduction for stochastic propagators with applications to the static quark spectrum