The effect of foliar application of isotopically labelled nitrogen (N-15-urea) at 4 stages during flowering and podding on the uptake and utilisation of nitrogen by chickpea ( Cicer arietinum L.) under conditions of terminal drought was investigated in a glasshouse study. Five treatments were used to investigate the effect of timing of foliar application of urea, equivalent to 30 kg N/ha, on the uptake and utilisation of nitrogen for biomass, yield, seed protein content, and seed size: foliar application at ( i) first flower, ( ii) 50% flowering, (iii) 50% pod set, and (iv) the end of podding, and ( v) an unsprayed control treatment. Terminal drought was induced from pod set onward, resulting in a rapid development of plant water deficits ( - 0.14MPa/day) and a decrease in leaf photosynthesis irrespective of the timing of foliar urea application. Foliar applications of urea at first. ower and at 50% flowering, before terminal drought was induced, increased yield and seed protein content. The increase in yield resulted from an increase in the number of pods with more than one seed rather than from increased pod number per plant or increased seed size, indicating greater seed survival under terminal drought. Also, the increase in the seed protein content resulted from increased nitrogen availability for seed filling. Foliar application of urea during flowering, before terminal drought was induced, resulted in 20% more biomass at maturity, suggesting that growth prior to the development of water shortage increased the carbon resources for sustained seed filling under conditions of terminal drought. Foliar applications of urea at 50% pod set and at the end of podding did not affect the yield or seed protein content, primarily because the uptake of nitrogen was limited by the leaf senescence that occurred with the development of terminal drought. The results indicate the potential to increase yields of chickpea by application of foliar nitrogen near flowering in environments in which terminal droughts reduce yield.