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Meaning of nitrogen fixation

ni'trogen fixa"tion

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. any process of combining atmospheric nitrogen with other elements, either by chemical means or by bacterial action: used chiefly in the preparation of fertilizers, industrial products, etc.
  2. this process as performed by certain bacteria found in the nodules of leguminous plants, which make the resulting nitrogenous compounds available to their host plants.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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