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  1. (chemistry) of, relating to, or derived from nitrogen, especially in which the valence of the nitrogen is lower than that of a corresponding nitric species
  2. (chemistry) of, or relating to nitrous acid or its derivatives
  3. (mycology, biology) having a sharp odor like ammonia or nitric acid



nitrous ‎(uncountable)

  1. (dentistry, automotive, informal) Nitrous oxide.
  2. (automotive, informal) The system in some racing vehicles which pumps nitrous oxide into the engine to improve performance.
    • 2002, Mike Kojima, Honda/Acura Engine Performance: How to Modify D, B and H Series Honda/Acura Engines for Street and Drag Racing Performance, Penguin (ISBN 9781557883841), page 111
      When a shot this big is being run, it will also be necessary to pull 6-10 degrees of timing out when the nitrous is being run.
    • 2004, Simon Carless, Gaming Hacks, "O'Reilly Media, Inc." (ISBN 9780596007140), page 320
      To simulate nitrous, we will use a very simple approach: apply a large force to the back of the car when the nitrous is on.
    • 2013, David Vizard, David Vizard's How to Super Tune and Modify Holley Carburetors, CarTech Inc (ISBN 9781934709658), page 74
      When tested on a typical summer day, an engine with fuel fed by an annular discharge booster could be 10 hp less over a stepped dogleg booster, but 10 hp more when the nitrous is in operation.