pyruvic acid


py·​ru·​vic acid pī-ˈrü-vik- How to pronounce pyruvic acid (audio)
: a 3-carbon acid C3H4O3 that in carbohydrate metabolism is an important intermediate product formed especially during glycolysis

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The sweet flavor isn't due to higher quantities of sugar but to fewer chemical compounds of pyruvic acid and sulfur compounds that normally make onions sharp. Silvia Marchetti, CNN, 8 Oct. 2022 Pigment-specific peels, like pyruvic acid, are recommended since studies have shown this ingredient is specifically effective for diminishing hyperpigmentation. Julie Ricevuto, Allure, 22 Oct. 2020 For example, carbonaceous chondrites—some of the oldest rocks in the solar system—were recently found to harbor pyruvic acid, which is essential for metabolism. David W. Brown, Smithsonian, 2 July 2018

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

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary pyr- + Latin uva grapes; from its importance in fermentation — more at uvula

First Known Use

1838, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pyruvic acid was in 1838

Dictionary Entries Near pyruvic acid

Cite this Entry

“Pyruvic acid.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

pyruvic acid

py·​ru·​vic acid pī-ˌrü-vik- How to pronounce pyruvic acid (audio)
: an acid that can be formed from either glucose or glycogen and is an important chemical in the production of energy from food in animals

Medical Definition

pyruvic acid

py·​ru·​vic acid pī-ˌrü-vik- How to pronounce pyruvic acid (audio)
: a 3-carbon acid C3H4O3 that is an intermediate in carbohydrate metabolism and can be formed either from glucose after phosphorylation or from glycogen by glycolysis

More from Merriam-Webster on pyruvic acid

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?