acetic acid

noun Chemistry.
a colorless, pungent, water-miscible liquid, C 2 H 4 O 2 , the essential constituent of vinegar, produced by oxidation of acetaldehyde, bacterial action on ethyl alcohol, the reaction of methyl alcohol with carbon monoxide, and other processes: used chiefly in the manufacture of acetate fibers and in the production of numerous esters that are solvents and flavoring agents.


Origin:
1800–10

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World English Dictionary
acetic acid
 
n
glacial acetic acid See also vinegar Systematic name: ethanoic acid a colourless pungent liquid, miscible with water, widely used in the manufacture of acetic anhydride, vinyl acetate, plastics, pharmaceuticals, dyes, etc. Formula: CH3COOH

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

acetic acid a·ce·tic acid (ə-sē'tĭk)
n.
A clear, colorless organic acid with a distinctive pungent odor, the chief acid of vinegar, also used as a solvent. Also called ethanoic 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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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
acetic acid  
A clear, colorless organic acid having a distinctive pungent odor. It is used as a solvent and in the manufacture of rubber, plastics, acetate fibers, pharmaceuticals, and photographic chemicals. Acetic acid is the chief acid of vinegar. Chemical formula: C2H4O2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
They used acetic acid to dissolve the limestone, which leaves behind a residue
  of fossils preserved by calcium phosphate minerals.
It's home to a type of acetic acid-producing bacteria called acetobacter, which
  will convert your wine to vinegar.
Nothing whatever has been said of the acetic acid and the essential oil
  equivalent of spices used in place of benzoate of soda.
When cellulose reacts with acetic acid to form the material, some acetic acid
  isn't used up.
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