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stearic acid

noun, Chemistry.
a colorless, waxlike, sparingly water-soluble, odorless solid, C 1 8 H 3 6 O 2 , the most common fatty acid, occurring as the glyceride in tallow and other animal fats and in some animal oils: used chiefly in the manufacture of soaps, stearates, candles, cosmetics, and in medicine in suppositories and pill coatings.
Also called octadecanoic acid.
Origin of stearic acid
First recorded in 1825-35 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for stearic acid

stearic acid

a colourless odourless insoluble waxy carboxylic acid used for making candles and suppositories; octadecanoic acid. Formula: CH3(CH2)16COOH See also stearin (sense 2)
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
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stearic acid in Medicine

stearic acid ste·ar·ic acid (stē-ār'ĭk, stēr'ĭk)
A colorless, odorless, waxlike fatty acid occurring naturally in animal and vegetable fats and used in pharmaceutical preparations, ointments, soaps, and suppositories.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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stearic acid in Science
stearic acid
  (stē-ār'ĭk, stîr'ĭk)   
A colorless, odorless, waxlike fatty acid occurring in animal and vegetable fats and used in making soaps, candles, lubricants, and other products. Chemical formula: C18H36O2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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