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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Meat is rich in nutrients.
▪ Phosphorus is a nutrient used in fertilizer that helps plants grow.
▪ Tenderly he wiped its mouth and nostrils and eyes as it coughed into life, vomiting saline nutrient over his hands.
▪ This is the minimum daily amount of a nutrient required by an adult to prevent symptoms of deficiency.
▪ Venom, it seems, is also a basic nutrient of politics.
▪ Water drains from it rapidly carrying away any soluble plant nutrient that may have been added.
▪ Worldwide, indeed, surplus nutrient is at least as dangerously polluting as pure toxin.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Nutrient \Nu"tri*ent\, n. n.

  1. Any substance which has nutritious qualities, i. e., which nourishes or promotes growth; a nutriment.

  2. Specifically: (Microbiology) A substance added to the growth medium of a microorganism to promote growth.


Nutrient \Nu"tri*ent\, a. [L. nutriens, p. pr. of nutrire. See Nourish.] Nutritious; nourishing; promoting growth.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"a nutritious substance," 1828, noun use of adjective (1640s) meaning "providing nourishment," from Latin nutrientem (nominative nutriens), present participle of nutrire "to nourish, suckle, feed, foster" (see nourish).


a. providing nourishment n. A source of nourishment, such as food, that can be metabolized by an organism to give energy and build tissue.


adj. of or providing nourishment; "good nourishing stew" [syn: alimentary, alimental, nourishing, nutritious, nutritive]


n. any substance that can be metabolized by an organism to give energy and build tissue [syn: food]


Nutrients are components in foods that an organism uses to survive and grow. Macronutrients provide the bulk energy an organism's metabolic system needs to function while micronutrients provide the necessary cofactors for metabolism to be carried out. Both types of nutrients can be acquired from the environment. Micronutrients are used to build and repair tissues and to regulate body processes while macronutrients are converted to, and used for, energy. Methods of nutrient intake are different for plants and animals. Plants take in nutrients directly from the soil through their roots and from the atmosphere through their leaves. Animals and protists have specialized digestive systems that work to break down macronutrients for energy and utilize micronutrients for both metabolism and anabolism (constructive synthesis) in the body.

Organic nutrients consist of carbohydrates, fats, proteins (or their building blocks, amino acids), and vitamins. Inorganic chemical compounds such as dietary minerals, water (H2O), and oxygen may also be considered nutrients. A nutrient is considered essential if it must be obtained from an external source either because the organism cannot synthesize it or because insufficient quantities are produced. Nutrients needed in very small amounts are called micronutrients while those needed in large quantities are called macronutrients. The effects of nutrients are dose-dependent; shortages are called deficiencies.

Usage examples of "nutrient".

First National Flightpaths informed Daniel that the Annex could no longer supply him with the liquid nutrient by which Boa was kept alive.

It is much more important, you see, than measuring nutrient levels and concocting chemical formulae for the annihilation of borer beetles.

The nutrients in the juice will slow down the absorption of the water by your dehydrated system.

Isle, in the Firmary tanks where naked bodies arrived, were fixed by the bubbling nutrient and blue worms, and were faxed back.

It is stated that the amount of inoculating material thus obtained is only limited by the quantity of the nutrient water solution used in increasing the germs, so that the cost of inoculating land by this process is not large.

They contain folate, lycopene, and other nutrients to keep arteries young.

The extra fat also has another advantage: It helps absorb fat-soluble nutrients like the lycopene in tomatoes.

There they lived on impregnated pasteboard which was salvaged from the latrines, reimpregnated with nutrients and vitamins, deodorized and sterilized, and issued again the next day.

We filled the molds with water, nutrients, and nourishing electrical currents, then inoculated them with totipotent cells.

It involves placing a blood sample in a culture of nutrients and then waiting twenty-four to seventy-two hours to see if an anthrax colony grows.

Then he noted their smoothness, the absence of tiny cilia or branchlets capable of extracting water and nutrients from the soil.

Standing by the incubators and glove boxes, not thinking about anything in particular, breathing in the familiar odors of warm plastic and hypochlorite, the faint tang of methanol and the yeasty must of nutrient concentrate, allowing them to calm her.

Illa knew, spread for acres, holding the soil and secreting microfauna to defend against native parasites and rework the local minerals into compatible nutrients.

The tank proteome, a mucoid slime of nutrients and tailored hormones, was beginning to prepare his body for the life he left behind.

Sardines have lots of a nutrient called prostaglandin, which makes them effective against all kinds of diseases.