also nitroglycerin, violently explosive oily light-yellow liquid, 1857, from nitro- + glycerin. So called either because it was obtained by treating glycerine with nitric and sulfuric acids or because it is essentially a nitrate (glyceryl trinitrate). The essential element of dynamite; it is a violent poison when ingested, but in minute doses it is used in the treatment of angina and heart failure.
updated on June 26, 2019
Dictionary entries near nitroglycerine