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[uh-see-tik, uh-set-ik] /əˈsi tɪk, əˈsɛt ɪk/
pertaining to, derived from, or producing vinegar or acetic acid.
Origin of acetic
1800-10; acet- + -ic
Related forms
semiacetic, adjective
unacetic, adjective
Can be confused
acetic, aesthetic, ascetic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for acetic
  • It's home to a type of acetic acid-producing bacteria called acetobacter, which will convert your wine to vinegar.
  • They used acetic acid to dissolve the limestone, which leaves behind a residue of fossils preserved by calcium phosphate minerals.
  • Common wine defect caused by excess production of acetic acid, resulting in a vinegary smell.
  • When cellulose reacts with acetic acid to form the material, some acetic acid isn't used up.
  • He washed them carefully with acetic acid, sealed them with a preservative, and pieced them together into a recognizable skeleton.
  • Nothing whatever has been said of the acetic acid and the essential oil equivalent of spices used in place of benzoate of soda.
  • The process uses bacteria to break down organic material, such as acetic acid and cellulose.
  • Its technology uses organisms that convert sugars into acetic acid, which can then be made into ethyl acetate.
British Dictionary definitions for acetic


/əˈsiːtɪk; əˈsɛt-/
of, containing, producing, or derived from acetic acid or vinegar
Word Origin
C19: from Latin acētum vinegar
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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Word Origin and History for acetic

1808, from French acétique "pertaining to vinegar," from Latin acetum "vinegar" (properly vinum acetum "wine turned sour;" see vinegar), originally past participle of acere "be sour," related to acer "sharp" (see acrid).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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acetic in Science
Relating to or containing acetic acid or vinegar.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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