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[glis-uh-rawl, -rol] /ˈglɪs əˌrɔl, -ˌrɒl/
a colorless, odorless, syrupy, sweet liquid, C 3 H 8 O 3 , usually obtained by the saponification of natural fats and oils: used for sweetening and preserving food, in the manufacture of cosmetics, perfumes, inks, and certain glues and cements, as a solvent and automobile antifreeze, and in medicine in suppositories and skin emollients.
Also called glycerin, glycerine.
Origin of glycerol
1880-85; glycer(in) + -ol1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for glycerol


a colourless or pale yellow odourless sweet-tasting syrupy liquid; 1,2,3-propanetriol: a by-product of soap manufacture, used as a solvent, antifreeze, plasticizer, and sweetener (E422). Formula: C3H8O3 Also called (not in technical usage) glycerine, glycerin
Word Origin
C19: from glycer(ine) + -ol1
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 glycerol

1884, from glycerine + -ol, suffix denoting alcohols.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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glycerol in Medicine

glycerol glyc·er·ol (glĭs'ə-rôl', -rōl')
A sweet syrupy fluid obtained by the saponification of fats and fixed oils, used as a solvent, a skin emollient, and as a vehicle and sweetening agent; it is also used by injection or in suppository form for constipation and orally to reduce ocular tension.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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glycerol in Science
A sweet, syrupy liquid obtained from animal fats and oils or by the fermentation of glucose. It is used as a solvent, sweetener, and antifreeze and in making explosives and soaps. Glycerol consists of a propane molecule attached to three hydroxyl (OH) groups. Also called glycerin, glycerine. Chemical formula: C3H8O3.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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