stearic acid


noun Chemistry.

a colorless, waxlike, sparingly water-soluble, odorless solid, C18H36O2, the most common fatty acid, occurring as the glyceride in tallow and other animal fats and in some animal oils: used chiefly in the manufacture of soaps, stearates, candles, cosmetics, and in medicine in suppositories and pill coatings.

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Also called octadecanoic acid.

Origin of stearic acid

First recorded in 1825–35
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for stearic acid

stearic acid

noun

a colourless odourless insoluble waxy carboxylic acid used for making candles and suppositories; octadecanoic acid. Formula: CH 3 (CH 2) 16 COOHSee also stearin (def. 2)
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 stearic acid

stearic acid
[ stē-ărĭk, stîrĭk ]

n.

A colorless, odorless, waxlike fatty acid occurring naturally in animal and vegetable fats and used in pharmaceutical preparations, ointments, soaps, and suppositories.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for stearic acid

stearic acid
[ stē-ărĭk, stîrĭk ]

A colorless, odorless, waxlike fatty acid occurring in animal and vegetable fats and used in making soaps, candles, lubricants, and other products. Chemical formula: C18H36O2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.