benzoic acid

ben·zo·ic acid | \ben-ˈzō-ik- \

Definition of benzoic acid 

: a white crystalline acid C6H5COOH found naturally (as in benzoin or in cranberries) or made synthetically and used especially as a preservative of foods, as an antifungal agent in pharmaceuticals, and in organic synthesis

Examples of benzoic acid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Juul pods include glycerol, propylene glycol, natural oils, extracts and flavor, nicotine and benzoic acid, company officials say, but not diacetyl, a potentially harmful chemical used in other vaping products for flavoring. Jill Tucker,, "As Juul vaping surges among teens, health concerns grow," 27 May 2018 Juul’s e-cigarette liquid contains only five: glycerol, propylene glycol, nicotine, benzoic acid, and food-grade flavoring. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "The Promise of Vaping and the Rise of Juul," 7 May 2018

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

First Known Use of benzoic acid

1791, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for benzoic acid

International Scientific Vocabulary, from benzoin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about benzoic acid

Share benzoic acid

Statistics for benzoic acid

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for benzoic acid

The first known use of benzoic acid was in 1791

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for benzoic acid

benzoic acid

ben·zo·ic acid | \ben-ˌzō-ik- \

Medical Definition of benzoic acid 

: a white crystalline acid C6H6O2 found naturally (as in benzoin or in cranberries) or made synthetically and used especially as a preservative of foods, in medicine, and in organic synthesis

More from Merriam-Webster on benzoic acid Encyclopedia article about benzoic acid

Comments on benzoic acid

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


one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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