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[nahy-truh-fi-key-shuh n] /ˌnaɪ trə fɪˈkeɪ ʃən/

the act of .
the oxidation of the ammonium compounds in dead organic material into nitrites and nitrates by soil nitrobacteria, making nitrogen available to plants See also nitrogen cycle


1827, from French nitrification (1787, de Morveau), from nitrifier (1777), from nitre (see nitre).

nitrification ni·tri·fi·ca·tion (nī’trə-fĭ-kā’shən)

The process by which bacteria in soil and water oxidize ammonia and ammonium ions and form nitrites and nitrates. Because the nitrates can be absorbed by more complex organisms, as by the roots of green plants, nitrification is an important step in the nitrogen cycle.


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  • Nitrifier

    [nahy-truh-fahy-er] /ˈnaɪ trəˌfaɪ ər/ noun 1. a person or thing that .

  • Nitrifiers

    [nahy-truh-fahy-er] /ˈnaɪ trəˌfaɪ ər/ noun 1. a person or thing that .

  • Nitrify

    [nahy-truh-fahy] /ˈnaɪ trəˌfaɪ/ verb (used with object), nitrified, nitrifying. 1. to oxidize (ammonia, ammonium compounds, or atmospheric nitrogen) to nitrites, , or their respective acids, especially by bacterial action. 2. to impregnate with or compounds. 3. to treat or combine with or its compounds. 4. (formerly) to convert into niter. /ˈnaɪtrɪˌfaɪ/ verb (transitive) -fies, -fying, […]

  • Nitrifying bacteria

    nitrifying bacteria (nī’trə-fī’ĭng) Any of various soil bacteria that change ammonia or ammonium into nitrite or change nitrite into nitrate as part of the nitrogen cycle. Bacteria of the genus Nitrosomonas are the primary converters of ammonium into nitrite (which is actually toxic to plants), and bacteria of the genus Nitrobacter oxidize the nitrite to […]

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