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stearic acid Syllabification: ste·ar·ic ac·id
Pronunciation: /stēˌerik ˈasəd/ /ˌstirik ˈasəd/

Definition of stearic acid in English:


A solid saturated fatty acid obtained from animal or vegetable fats.
  • Chemical formula: CH3(CH2)16COOH
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.


Pronunciation: /ˈsti(ə)ˌrāt/
Example sentences
  • The remaining 3.75 g is composed of lactose as a vehicle, sucrose esters of fatty acids as a disintegrator and magnesium stearate as a lubricant.
  • Both studies used a dosage form that contains a dissolution-inhibiting excipient, magnesium stearate.
  • The four most abundant fatty acids were palmitate, palmitoleate, stearate, and oleate, which together comprised 80 to 90% of all fatty acids analyzed.


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

Definition of stearic acid in:
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