a colorless, pungent, water-miscible liquid, C2H4O2, the essential constituent of vinegar, produced by oxidation of acetaldehyde, bacterial action on ethyl alcohol, the reaction of methyl alcohol with carbon monoxide, and other processes: used chiefly in the manufacture of acetate fibers and in the production of numerous esters that are solvents and flavoring agents.
Words nearby acetic acid
Compare glacial acetic acid.
Origin of acetic acid
First recorded in 1800–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
Examples from the Web for acetic acid
It is also important to note that the lactic-acid ferment is not so sensitive to hydrochloric acid as the acetic-acid ferment.On Digestive Proteolysis|R. H. Chittenden
British Dictionary definitions for acetic acid
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
Medical definitions for acetic acid
[ ə-sē′tĭk ]
A clear, colorless organic acid with a distinctive pungent odor, the chief acid of vinegar, also used as a solvent.ethanoic acid
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Scientific definitions for acetic acid
A clear, colorless organic acid having a distinctive pungent odor. It is used as a solvent and in the manufacture of rubber, plastics, acetate fibers, pharmaceuticals, and photographic chemicals. Acetic acid is the chief acid of vinegar. Chemical formula: C2H4O2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.