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[sawr-bi-tawl, -tol] /ˈsɔr bɪˌtɔl, -ˌtɒl/
noun, Biochemistry
a white, crystalline, sweet, water-soluble powder, C 6 H 8 (OH) 6 , occurring in cherries, plums, pears, seaweed, and many berries, obtained by the breakdown of dextrose and used as a sugar substitute for diabetics and in the manufacture of vitamin C, synthetic resins, candy, varnishes, etc.; sorbol.
1890-95; sorb1 + -itol Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sorbitol
  • Some food additives such as nutmeg and sorbitol may cause diarrhea in certain people.
  • Some sunscreens and lotions contain sorbitol, a carbohydrate that can be absorbed through skin.
  • Cathartics such as sorbitol are sometimes used in response to poisoning.
British Dictionary definitions for sorbitol


a white water-soluble crystalline alcohol with a sweet taste, found in certain fruits and berries and manufactured by the catalytic hydrogenation of sucrose: used as a sweetener (E420) and in the manufacture of ascorbic acid and synthetic resins. Formula: C6H8(OH)6
Word Origin
C19: from sorb + -itol
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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sorbitol in Medicine

sorbitol sor·bi·tol (sôr'bĭ-tôl', -tōl')
A white, sweetish, crystalline alcohol occurring naturally or prepared synthetically, used as a sugar substitute for people with diabetes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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sorbitol in Science
  (sôr'bĭ-tôl', -tōl')   
A white, sweetish, crystalline alcohol found in various berries and fruits or prepared synthetically. It is used as a flavoring agent, a sugar substitute for people with diabetes, and a moisturizer in cosmetics and other products. Chemical formula: C6H14O6.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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