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butyric acid

noun, Chemistry
1.
either of two isomeric acids having the formula C 4 H 8 O 2 , especially a rancid liquid occurring chiefly in spoiled butter, whose esters are used as flavorings.
Also called butanoic acid.
Origin
1820-1830
1820-30
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for butyric acid
  • The crew was ordered to the higher decks and armed with smoke bombs and bottles of butyric acid, which are mega stink bombs.
British Dictionary definitions for butyric acid

butyric acid

/bjuːˈtɪrɪk/
noun
1.
a carboxylic acid existing in two isomeric forms, one of which produces the smell in rancid butter. Its esters are used in flavouring. Formula: C3(CH2)2COOH
Word Origin
C19 butyric, from Latin būtyrumbutter
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
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butyric acid in Medicine

butyric acid bu·tyr·ic acid (byōō-tēr'ĭk)
n.
Either of two colorless isomeric acids occurring in animal milk fats and used in disinfectants, emulsifying agents, and pharmaceuticals. Also called butanoic acid.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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butyric acid in Science
butyric acid
  (by-tîr'ĭk)   
Either of two colorless fatty acids found in butter and certain plant oils. It has an unpleasant odor and is used in emulsifying agents, disinfectants and drugs. Chemical formula: C4H8O2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for butyric acid

butanoic acid

a fatty acid occurring in the form of esters in animal fats and plant oils. As a glyceride (an ester containing an acid and glycerol), it makes up 3-4 percent of butter; the disagreeable odour of rancid butter is that of hydrolysis of the butyric acid glyceride. The acid is of considerable commercial importance as a raw material in the manufacture of esters of lower alcohols for use as flavouring agents; its anhydride is used to make cellulose butyrate, a useful plastic. Butyric acid is manufactured by catalyzed air oxidation of butanal (butyraldehyde).

Learn more about butanoic acid with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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14
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