saltpetre, US saltpeter /ˌsɔːltˈpiːtə/ n Etymology: 16th Century: from Old French salpetre, from Latin sal petrae salt of rock
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WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
salt•pe•ter (sôlt′pē′tər),USA pronunciation n.
- Chemistrythe form of potassium nitrate, KNO3, that occurs naturally, used in the manufacture of fireworks, fluxes, gunpowder, etc.;
- ChemistrySee Chile saltpeter.
- Medieval Latin salpetrē, for Latin sal petrae salt of rock, so called because it commonly encrusts stones
- 1275–1325; earlier salt peter; replacing Middle English sal peter, salpetre
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