Gaseous chemical element; symbol N. Nitrogen is the most abundant constituent of dry air. It comprises 78.09% (by volume). → Atomic number 7; → atomic weight 14.0067; → melting point -209.86°C; → boiling point -195.8°C. Nitrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless diatomic gas. It was discovered by the Scottish physician and chemist Daniel Rutherford in 1772.
From Fr. nitrogène, coined 1790 by Fr. chemist Jean Antoine Chaptal (1756-1832), from combining form of Gk. nitron "sodium carbonate" + Fr. gène "producing."
Azot, loan from Fr. azote, from Gk. azotos "lifeless," from negation prefix → a- + zotos "vital."