pyruvic acid

noun Chemistry, Biochemistry.

a water-soluble liquid, C3H4O3, important in many metabolic and fermentative processes, having an odor resembling that of acetic acid, prepared by the dehydration of tartaric acid: used chiefly in biochemical research.



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Origin of pyruvic acid

First recorded in 1830–40 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for pyruvic acid

pyruvic acid
/ (paɪˈruːvɪk) /


a colourless pleasant-smelling liquid formed as an intermediate in the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates, helping to release energy to the body; 2-oxopropanoic acid. Formula: CH 3 COCOOH

Word Origin for pyruvic acid

C19: pyruvic from pyro- + Latin ūva grape
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 pyruvic acid

pyruvic acid
[ pī-rōōvĭk, pĭ- ]


A colorless organic liquid formed as a fundamental intermediate in protein and carbohydrate metabolism.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for pyruvic acid

pyruvic acid
[ pī-rōōvĭk ]

A colorless organic liquid formed by the breakdown of carbohydrates and sugars during cell metabolism. It is the final product of glycolysis and is converted into acetyl coenzyme A, which is required for the Krebs cycle. It is also used in the body to synthesize the amino acid alanine. Chemical formula: C3H4O3.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.