acetic anhydride


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

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Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web It can be synthesized through a chemical process using acetic anhydride, a high-inflammable and colorless liquid used to make fibers, plastics, pharmaceuticals, dyes, and explosives. Dario Sabaghi, Forbes, 18 Jan. 2022 Finally, acetic anhydride is added to the delta-8 THC molecules to produce THC-O acetate. Dario Sabaghi, Forbes, 18 Jan. 2022 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, 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,, 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,, 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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Word History

First Known Use

1855, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of acetic anhydride was in 1855

Dictionary Entries Near acetic anhydride

Cite this Entry

“Acetic anhydride.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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Medical Definition

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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