acetic anhydride


Definition of acetic anhydride

: a colorless liquid C4H6O3 with a pungent odor used in organic synthesis (as of cellulose acetate and aspirin)

Examples of acetic anhydride in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The company had been selling acetic anhydride in convenient wine bottle-sized jugs in retail stores, which were traced back to Mexican drug labs. Donald J. Mihalek, ABC News, "The seen and unseen threat of fentanyl: OPINION," 28 Mar. 2021 The investigation was triggered by a Bloomberg Businessweek report that found that J.T. Baker-brand acetic anhydride had been easily diverted to make heroin in violation of Mexican law. Michael Smith,, "Avantor Stops Sale of Chemical in Mexico Used to Make Heroin," 15 Sep. 2020 None appears to have fared better than acetic anhydride, which is required to make heroin and also used by Mexican cartels over the past decade to make meth. Cam Simpson,, "Mexico Was 18 Years Late in Controlling the Chemical Used to Make Heroin," 28 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acetic anhydride.' 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 anhydride

1855, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of acetic anhydride was in 1855

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Statistics for acetic anhydride

Last Updated

31 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Acetic anhydride.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for acetic anhydride

acetic anhydride


Medical Definition of acetic anhydride

: a colorless liquid (CH3CO)2O with a pungent odor and lacrimatory and vesicant action that is used especially in making acetyl derivatives (as aspirin)

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