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butyric acid Line breaks: bu|tyr¦ic acid
Pronunciation: /bjuːˈtɪrɪk/

Definition of butyric acid in English:


[mass noun] Chemistry
A colourless syrupy liquid organic acid found in rancid butter and in arnica oil.
  • Alternative name: butanoic acid; chemical formula: C3H7COOH
Example sentences
  • He named these materials and some of these names, like stearic acid and butyric acid, are still used today.
  • The name comes from butyric acid, an acid that has the smell of rancid butter.
  • A variety of other organic acids are produced by other bacteria, including butyric acid, responsible for the taste of rancid butter.


Mid 19th century: butyric from Latin butyrum (see butter) + -ic.

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