|(Chem.)||sodium nitrate (distinguished from potassium nitrate, or true salpeter), a white crystalline substance, NaNO3, having a cooling, saline, slightly bitter taste. It is obtained by leaching the soil of the rainless districts of Chili and Peru. It is deliquescent and cannot be used in gunpowder, but is employed in the production of nitric acid. Called also cubic niter.|
See also: Saltpeter
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.