ricinoleic acid


ri·​cin·​ole·​ic acid ˌrī-sə-nō-ˈlē-ik- How to pronounce ricinoleic acid (audio)
: an oily unsaturated hydroxy fatty acid C18H34O3 that occurs in castor oil as a glyceride and yields esters important as plasticizers

Examples of ricinoleic acid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This quality is likely why castor oil is an age-old remedy for both dry hair, dry scalp, and even dandruff, that likely aided by the ricinoleic acid, which is said to calm inflammation. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 16 Dec. 2023 Castor oil: Castor oil is high in vitamin E and contains ricinoleic acid, a type of fatty acid that can boost circulation in the scalp. Alyssa Hui, Verywell Health, 17 Jan. 2024 Castor oil is thick and often pale yellow in hue and, according to Boakye, contains antimicrobial properties due to the ricin and ricinoleic acid from fungus and other microbes. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 16 Dec. 2023 There is also some research that the ricinoleic acid may have some anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Jenn Barthole, Glamour, 16 Nov. 2023 Castor seed oil: Another natural oil derived from castor beans, castor oil is rich in a type of monounsaturated fatty acid, ricinoleic acid, which helps your skin retain moisture. Rachael Schultz, Health, 12 Apr. 2023 There is one study that was performed in silico — meaning simulated in a computer program — which showed that ricinoleic acid, a component of castor oil, may act similarly to prostaglandin analogues, which are known drugs for counteracting hair loss. Dori Price, Good Housekeeping, 8 July 2022 Additionally, 90% of castor oil is made up of the fatty acid ricinoleic acid. Elle.com, ELLE, 6 Dec. 2022 Overall, limited research shows that the ricinoleic acid in castor oil may have antimicrobial1 and anti-inflammatory2 properties (which could, theoretically, be helpful for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis). ​jessica Migala, SELF, 28 Jan. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ricinoleic 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


Latin ricinus + English oleic acid

First Known Use

1847, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ricinoleic acid was in 1847

Dictionary Entries Near ricinoleic acid

Cite this Entry

“Ricinoleic acid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ricinoleic%20acid. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition

ricinoleic acid

ri·​cin·​ole·​ic acid ˌrīs-ᵊn-ō-ˌlē-ik-, ˌris-, -ˌlā- How to pronounce ricinoleic acid (audio)
: an oily unsaturated hydroxy fatty acid C18H34O3 that occurs in castor oil as a glyceride

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