Definition of stearic acid in English:

stearic acid

Line breaks: ste¦aric acid
Pronunciation: /ˈstɪərɪk
 
, stɪˈarɪk
 
/

noun

Chemistry
  • A solid saturated fatty acid obtained from animal or vegetable fats.
    • Chemical formula: CH3(CH2)16COOH
    More example sentences
    • Like all fatty acids stearic acid is insoluble in water, but is soluble in ether and hot alcohol.
    • The most common animal fat is tristearin, which is composed of glycerol and three stearic acid molecules.
    • Many shampoos are based on lauric, palmitic, and stearic acids, which have long chains of 12, 16, and 18 carbon atoms, respectively.

Origin

mid 19th century: stearic from French stéarique, from Greek stear 'tallow'.

More definitions of stearic acid

Definition of stearic acid in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
noun
a powerful whirlpool in the sea

Shop for an Oxford dictionary

Find the perfect Oxford dictionary for you in our online shop.
SHOP NOW ►