sorbic acid

[ sawr-bik ]
/ ˈsɔr bɪk /

noun Chemistry.

a white, crystalline compound, C6H8O2, slightly soluble in water, soluble in many organic solvents: used as a preservative in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food.



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Origin of sorbic acid

First recorded in 1805–15; sorb1 + -ic

Words nearby sorbic acid Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for sorbic acid

sorbic acid
/ (ˈsɔːbɪk) /


a white crystalline unsaturated carboxylic acid found in berries of the mountain ash and used to inhibit the growth of moulds and as an additive for certain synthetic coatings, as of cheese (E200); 2,4-hexadienoic acid. It exists as cis- and trans- isomers, the latter being the one usually obtained. Formula: CH 3 CH:CHCH:CHCOOH

Word Origin for sorbic acid

C19: from sorb (the tree), from its discovery in the berries of the mountain ash
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 sorbic acid

sorbic acid
[ sôrbĭk ]


A white crystalline solid found in the berries of the mountain ash and also synthesized, used as a fungicide.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for sorbic acid

sorbic acid
[ sôrbĭk ]

A white crystalline solid that is found in the berries of the rowan or prepared synthetically and is used as a food preservative and a fungicide. Chemical formula: C6H8O2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.