acetic acid

noun
ace·​tic acid | \ə-ˈsē-tik- \

Definition of acetic acid 

: a colorless pungent liquid acid C2H4O2 that is the chief acid of vinegar and that is used especially in synthesis (as of plastics)

Examples of acetic acid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Vinegar’s active ingredient, acetic acid, can be produced naturally through bacterial fermentation, as in apple-cider vinegar, or industrially, via chemical reactions from such source materials as methanol. Margaret Roach, Good Housekeeping, "Why It Can Be Dangerous To Use Vinegar To Kill Weeds," 18 May 2017 But the concentration of acetic acid in this is so high, it should be labeled a poison. Peter Andrey Smith, Outside Online, "Don't Trust the Label on Your Supplements," 5 July 2018 In fact, household products with acetic acid content above 20 percent should be labeled as poisons, but foods and supplements are exempt from such labeling! Houston Chronicle, "10 steps to protect your heart, brain and body from disease and premature aging," 20 May 2018 Buy now: $12; Amazon.com Apple cider vinegar: Vinegar contains acetic acid which helps ease sunburn pain, itching, and inflammation. Allison Young, Good Housekeeping, "Make This DIY Cooling Body Butter To Soothe Sunburned Skin," 7 June 2017 Sobering details: In concentrations over 11 percent, acetic acid can burn skin and cause eye damage, and concentrations of 20 percent and above are corrosive to tin, aluminum, iron, and concrete and can even cause blindness. Margaret Roach, Good Housekeeping, "Why It Can Be Dangerous To Use Vinegar To Kill Weeds," 18 May 2017 Here's what happens: When your tequila shots are absorbed into your body, the alcohol gets metabolized into acetate or acetic acid, according to the National Institutes of Health. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "5 Ways Your Diet Can Cause Bad Body Odor," 9 May 2018 Vinegar is made of acetic acid, which is a natural disinfectant for killing some common germs like salmonella and E. coli, but is best when used in tandem with antibacterial soap and water to guarantee all germs are killed. Alyse Whitney, Bon Appetit, "18 Places You Should Be Cleaning with Vinegar in Your Kitchen," 18 Jan. 2018 Cherries, apples and apricots are full of fruity malic acid, and the microbes in the kefir culture manufacture creamy lactic and bracing acetic acid. Ali Bouzari, San Francisco Chronicle, "Housemade: The silent science behind three signature dishes at Duna," 12 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acetic acid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of acetic acid

1788, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for acetic acid

acetic borrowed from French acétique, from Latin acētum "sour wine, vinegar" (noun derivative from *acētus, verbal adjective of acēre "to be sour," going back to Indo-European h2eḱ-eh1- "to be sharp") + French -ique -ic entry 1 — more at edge entry 1

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The first known use of acetic acid was in 1788

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More Definitions for acetic acid

acetic acid

noun

Medical Definition of acetic acid 

: a colorless pungent liquid acid C2H4O2 that is the chief acid of vinegar and that is used especially in synthesis (as of plastics) and occasionally in medicine as an astringent and styptic

More from Merriam-Webster on acetic acid

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about acetic acid

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