- any of a class of aliphatic acids, especially palmitic, stearic, or oleic acid, consisting of a long hydrocarbon chain ending in a carboxyl group that bonds to glycerol to form a fat.
Origin of fatty acid
First recorded in 1860–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for fatty acid
In addition to members of the fatty-acid series, mention may be made of the following well-known acids.An Elementary Study of Chemistry
- any of a class of aliphatic carboxylic acids, such as palmitic acid, stearic acid, and oleic acid, that form part of a lipid molecule
- another name for carboxylic acid, used esp of a naturally occurring one
- Any of a large group of long-chain monobasic organic acids hydrolytically derived from fats.
- Any of a large group of organic acids, especially those found in animal and vegetable fats and oils. Fatty acids are mainly composed of long chains of hydrocarbons ending in a carboxyl group. A fatty acid is saturated when the bonds between carbon atoms are all single bonds. It is unsaturated when any of these bonds is a double bond.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.