butyric acid

noun Chemistry.
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:
1820–30

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World English Dictionary
butyric acid (bjuːˈtɪrɪk)
 
n
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
 
[C19 butyric, from Latin būtyrumbutter]

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
butyric acid   (by-tîr'ĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
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 Britannica
Encyclopedia

butyric 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).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The crew was ordered to the higher decks and armed with smoke bombs and bottles of butyric acid, which are mega stink bombs.
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