[ as-i-teyt ]

  1. Chemistry. a salt or ester of acetic acid.

  2. Also called acetate rayon. a synthetic filament, yarn, or fabric composed of a derivative of the acetic ester of cellulose, differing from viscose rayon in having greater strength when wet and greater sensitivity to high temperatures.

  1. a sheet of clear plastic film fastened over the front of artwork for protection, as an overlay, or the like.

  2. a slow-burning base material, cellulose triacetate, used for motion-picture film to minimize fire hazard during projection, and also for animation cells.

Origin of acetate

First recorded in 1820–30; acet- + -ate2

Words Nearby acetate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use acetate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for acetate


/ (ˈæsɪˌteɪt) /

  1. any salt or ester of acetic acid, containing the monovalent ion CH 3 COO or the group CH 3 COO-: Systematic name: ethanoate

  2. (modifier) consisting of, containing, or concerned with the group CH 3 COO-: acetate group or radical

  1. a sound recording disc composed of an acetate lacquer coating on an aluminium or plastic base: used for demonstration or other short-term purposes

Origin of acetate

C19: from acetic + -ate 1

Derived forms of acetate

  • acetated, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for acetate


[ ăsĭ-tāt′ ]

  1. A salt or ester of acetic acid. Salts of acetic acid contain a metal attached to the acetic acid radical CH3COO. Esters contain another radical, such as ethyl, attached to the acetic acid radical.

  2. Cellulose acetate or a product made from it, especially fibers or film.

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