lactic acid

noun Biochemistry.
a colorless or yellowish, syrupy, water-soluble liquid, C 3 H 6 O 3 , produced during muscle contraction as a product of anaerobic glucose metabolism, abundant in sour milk, prepared usually by fermentation of cornstarch, molasses, potatoes, etc., or synthesized: used chiefly in dyeing and textile printing, as a flavoring agent in food, and in medicine.

Origin:
1780–90

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World English Dictionary
lactic acid
 
n
Systematic name: 2-hydroxypropanoic acid a colourless syrupy carboxylic acid found in sour milk and many fruits and used as a preservative (E270) for foodstuffs, such as soft margarine, and for making pharmaceuticals and adhesives. Formula: CH3CH(OH)COOH

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

lactic acid
1790; so called because it was obtained from sour milk (see lactation).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

lactic acid n.
A syrupy, water-soluble liquid existing in three isomeric forms: one in muscle tissue and blood as a result of anaerobic glucose metabolism, a second in sour milk and wines, and a third used in foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals.

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
lactic acid   (lāk'tĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
A syrupy, water-soluble organic acid produced when milk sours or certain fruits ferment. It is also produced in the body during the anaerobic metabolism of glucose, as in muscle tissue during exercise, where its buildup can cause cramping pains. A synthetic form of lactic acid is used as a flavoring and preservative, in dyeing and textile printing, and in pharmaceuticals. Chemical formula: C3H6O3.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Carbs break down into lactic acid in your muscles, which becomes lactate in the blood.
The lactic acid in these products helps prevent decay.
The tang is the lactic acid that's been formed by the breakdown of the milk sugar, lactose.
Hardworking muscles release lactic acid, which causes soreness.
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