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.
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
(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.