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stearic acid

noun, Chemistry
1.
a colorless, waxlike, sparingly water-soluble, odorless solid, C 1 8 H 3 6 O 2 , the most common fatty acid, occurring as the glyceride in tallow and other animal fats and in some animal oils: used chiefly in the manufacture of soaps, stearates, candles, cosmetics, and in medicine in suppositories and pill coatings.
Also called octadecanoic acid.
Origin
1825-1835
1825-35
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for stearic acid

stearic acid

noun
1.
a colourless odourless insoluble waxy carboxylic acid used for making candles and suppositories; octadecanoic acid. Formula: CH3(CH2)16COOH See also stearin (sense 2)
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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stearic acid in Medicine

stearic acid ste·ar·ic acid (stē-ār'ĭk, stēr'ĭk)
n.
A colorless, odorless, waxlike fatty acid occurring naturally in animal and vegetable fats and used in pharmaceutical preparations, ointments, soaps, and suppositories.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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stearic acid in Science
stearic acid
  (stē-ār'ĭk, stîr'ĭk)   
A colorless, odorless, waxlike fatty acid occurring in animal and vegetable fats and used in making soaps, candles, lubricants, and other products. Chemical formula: C18H36O2.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for stearic acid

octadecanoic acid

one of the most common long-chain fatty acids, found in combined form in natural animal and vegetable fats. Commercial "stearic acid" is a mixture of approximately equal amounts of stearic and palmitic acids and small amounts of oleic acid. It is employed in the manufacture of candles, cosmetics, shaving soaps, lubricants, and pharmaceuticals.

Learn more about octadecanoic acid with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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9
10
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