• synonyms


See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun Chemistry.
  1. glycerol.
Also glyc·er·ine [glis-er-in, -uh-reen, glis-uh-reen] /ˈglɪs ər ɪn, -əˌrin, ˌglɪs əˈrin/.

Origin of glycerin

1830–40; < French glycérine, equivalent to Greek glyker(ós) sweet + -ine -in2


[glis-uh-rawl, -rol]
  1. a colorless, odorless, syrupy, sweet liquid, C3H8O3, usually obtained by the saponification of natural fats and oils: used for sweetening and preserving food, in the manufacture of cosmetics, perfumes, inks, and certain glues and cements, as a solvent and automobile antifreeze, and in medicine in suppositories and skin emollients.

Origin of glycerol

First recorded in 1880–85; glycer(in) + -ol1
Also called glycerin, glycerine.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for glycerine

Historical Examples

  • But be careful; most of the things are only temporarily mounted—just in glycerine.

    The Bacillus of Beauty

    Harriet Stark

  • It had not been hurt by the glycerine blast that had trapped Asher.

  • Care is, however, necessary, in moistening the wool with glycerine.

  • Denatured alcohol, glycerine, water, a little color and perfume.

  • If then it is a smooth solution, nearly as thin as glycerine, it is fit for use.

British Dictionary definitions for glycerine


glycerin (ˈɡlɪsərɪn)

  1. another name (not in technical usage) for glycerol

Word Origin

C19: from French glycérine, from Greek glukeros sweet + -ine -in; related to Greek glukus sweet


  1. a colourless or pale yellow odourless sweet-tasting syrupy liquid; 1,2,3-propanetriol: a by-product of soap manufacture, used as a solvent, antifreeze, plasticizer, and sweetener (E422). Formula: C 3 H 8 O 3Also called (not in technical usage): glycerine, glycerin

Word Origin

C19: from glycer (ine) + -ol 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for glycerine


see glycerin.



1884, from glycerine + -ol, suffix denoting alcohols.



also glycerine, thick, colorless syrup, 1838, from French glycérine, coined by French chemist Michel-Eugène Chevreul (1786-1889), from Greek glykeros "sweet" (see glucose) + chemical ending -ine (2). So called for its sweet taste. Still in popular use, but in chemistry the substance now is known as glycerol.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

glycerine in Medicine


  1. Glycerol or a preparation of glycerol.


(glĭsə-rôl′, -rōl′)
  1. A sweet syrupy fluid obtained by the saponification of fats and fixed oils, used as a solvent, a skin emollient, and as a vehicle and sweetening agent; it is also used by injection or in suppository form for constipation and orally to reduce ocular tension.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

glycerine in Science


  1. See glycerol.


  1. A sweet, syrupy liquid obtained from animal fats and oils or by the fermentation of glucose. It is used as a solvent, sweetener, and antifreeze and in making explosives and soaps. Glycerol consists of a propane molecule attached to three hydroxyl (OH) groups. Also called glycerin, glycerine. Chemical formula: C3H8O3.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.