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acetic acid Line breaks: acet¦ic acid
Pronunciation: /əˈsiːtɪk/

Definition of acetic acid in English:


[mass noun] Chemistry
The acid that gives vinegar its characteristic taste. The pure acid is a colourless viscous liquid or glassy solid.
Example sentences
  • By the time this stage is reached the wine is no longer wine but wine vinegar which combines the sharp, acid taste of acetic acid with the odour of ethyl acetate.
  • At this time, the Arab alchemist Jabir ibn Hayyan Geber produced concentrated acetic acid by distilling vinegar.
  • Indeed, the synthesis of ethanol predates recorded history and acetic acid is oxidized ethanol or wine gone bad.


Late 18th century: acetic from French acétique, from Latin acetum 'vinegar'.

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