acetal

noun ac·e·tal \ ˈa-sə-ˌtal \

Definition of acetal

: any of various compounds characterized by the grouping C(OR)2 and obtained especially by heating aldehydes or ketones with alcohols

Origin and Etymology of acetal

borrowed from German Acetal, from Latin acētum "vinegar" + German Alkohol alcohol — more at acetic acid
Note: German Acetal was first used by Justus Liebig in the article "Ueber Acetal (Sauerstoffäther), Holzgeist und Essigäther" in Annalen der Pharmacie, 1. Heft, 5. Bd. (1833), p. 30: "Es scheint mir nun, daß der Name Sauerstoffäther von der Zusammensetzung dieses Körpers eine ganz unrichtige Vorstellung gibt, ich werde ihn in der Folge mit Acetal bezeichnen, als aus Alkohol bei der Essigsäurebildung entstanden." ("It now seems to me that the name oxygen ether presents a quite incorrect conception of the composition of this body, and as a consequence I will call it acetal, since it arises from alcohol during the formation of acetic acid.") Liebig modeled the word on earlier coinages of his own such as chloral, these modeled on the word ethal coined by the French chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul (Recherches chimiques sur les corps gras d'origine animale, Paris, 1823, p. 169).


Medical Dictionary

acetal

noun ac·e·tal \ ˈas-ə-ˌtal \

medical Definition of acetal

: any of various compounds characterized by the group C(OR)2 and obtained especially by heating aldehydes or ketones with alcohols

Learn More about acetal


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up acetal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of the same or a similar kind or nature

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • spring-flowers
  • Which is a synonym of raillery?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!