oxalic acid

noun

ox·​al·​ic acid (ˌ)äk-ˈsa-lik- How to pronounce oxalic acid (audio)
: a poisonous strong acid (COOH)2 or H2C2O4 that occurs in various plants (such as spinach) as oxalates and is used especially as a bleaching or cleaning agent and as a chemical intermediate

Examples of oxalic acid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The decline of oxalic acid is a common biomarker associated with sleep loss. Jack Tamisiea, Scientific American, 25 Jan. 2024 This powder is highly abrasive, using oxalic acid to remove rust, tarnish, mineral deposits, and stains from most materials. Camryn Rabideau, Peoplemag, 14 July 2023 Beekeepers have access to multiple products designed to combat mites in beehives, from vaporized forms of formic and oxalic acids that must be applied while wearing protective equipment, to potent insecticides and miticides that render any resulting honey unsellable due to their toxic residues. Time, 3 July 2023 To work, though, oxalic acid and bleach need to contact the wood fibers. Jeanne Huber, Washington Post, 7 Apr. 2023 The oxalic acid reacts with alkaline buildups like calcium, lime, rust stains, and hard water stains like iron deposits, etc. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, 10 Feb. 2023 For example, rhubarb contains 0.5% oxalic acid by weight, a substance that in large doses can cause joint pain and fatal kidney stones. Elsbeth Sites, Discover Magazine, 3 Dec. 2013 The 2020 study published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis was the first to evaluate oxalic acid content, one of these unwanted anti-nutrients, in 10 microgreens. Marisa Sloan, Discover Magazine, 27 June 2022 When energy is available, the microbes spit out oxalic acid, which precipitates as calcium oxalate crystals and causes further disruption. Jeffrey Marlow, Discover Magazine, 27 Feb. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'oxalic acid.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

French (acide) oxalique, from Latin oxalis

First Known Use

1788, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oxalic acid was in 1788

Dictionary Entries Near oxalic acid

Cite this Entry

“Oxalic acid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oxalic%20acid. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

oxalic acid

noun
ox·​al·​ic acid (ˌ)äk-ˌsal-ik- How to pronounce oxalic acid (audio)
: a poisonous strong acid (COOH)2 or H2C2O4 that occurs in various plants as oxalates and is used especially as a bleaching or cleaning agent and as a chemical intermediate

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