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.
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- Compare glacial acetic acid.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use acetic acid in a sentence
The production of wine vinegars begins with the typical wine fermentation process, which is then taken a step further with the addition of acetic acid bacteria.
Despite the advances of modern chemistry, the vinegar industry has yet to encounter a promising challenger to the tried-and-true natural machinery of acetic acid bacteria.
The acetic acid bacteria were introduced to the mixture from the air, from the raw material mixture, or were simply left over from the previous batch.
The aptly named acetic acid bacteria are the variety of microbes solely responsible for the production of the acid that characterizes vinegar.
Like all of the tiny interactions happening in a single cell at any given time, the conversion performed by acetic acid bacteria requires very specific operating conditions to most efficiently churn out vinegar.
When treated with hydrochloric or acetic acid they slowly dissolve and rhombic crystals of uric acid appear.
Crystals of calcium oxalate are insoluble in acetic acid or caustic soda.
Upon addition of acetic acid they dissolve, and rhombic plates of uric acid appear.
Let dry, apply a cover-glass, and run glacial acetic acid underneath it.
It dissolves in dilute potash, and on the addition of acetic acid is deposited in a pure state.Elements of Agricultural Chemistry | Thomas Anderson
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
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.