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.
Origin of acetic acid
First recorded in 1800–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
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
Medicine 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.
Science 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.