maleic acid

[ muh-lee-ik ]
/ məˈli ɪk /

noun Chemistry.

a colorless, crystalline, water-soluble solid, C4H4O4, isomeric with fumaric acid, having an astringent, repulsive taste and faint acidulous odor: used in the manufacture of synthetic resins, the dyeing and finishing of textiles, and as a preservative for fats and oils.

Origin of maleic acid

1870–75; < French maléique, alteration of malique malic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for maleic acid

maleic acid

/ (məˈleɪɪk) /


a colourless soluble crystalline substance used to synthesize other compounds. Formula: HOOCCH:CHCOOHSystematic name: cis-butanedioic acid

Word Origin for maleic acid

C19: from French maléique, altered form of malique; see malic 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 maleic acid

maleic acid

[ mə-lēĭk ]


A colorless crystalline dibasic acid that is an isomer of fumaric acid and is used as an oil and fat preservative.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for maleic acid

maleic acid

[ mə-lēĭk ]

A colorless crystalline acid used in textile processing and as an oil and fat preservative. Maleic acid is a geometric isomer of fumaric acid, having two carboxyl groups (COOH) on the same side of an ethylene chain. Chemical formula: C4H4O4.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.