Definition of acetic acid in English:

acetic acid


mass nounChemistry
  • The acid that gives vinegar its characteristic taste. The pure acid is a colourless viscous liquid or glassy solid.

    Alternative name: ethanoic acid; chemical formula: CH₃COOH

    • ‘Lactic acid and acetic acid concentrations were similar between treatments.’
    • ‘The organisms also produce organic compounds such as lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid.’
    • ‘Some organic acids, however, are quite strong, such as citric acid in citrus fruit, malic acid in apples, and acetic acid in vinegar.’
    • ‘Mannitol, lactic acid, and acetic acid are the byproducts of this action.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They work on the principle that in the presence of a catalyst, oxygen in a sample of expired air converts any alcohol present into acetic acid and then to water and carbon dioxide.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The cells were then centrifuged and a methanol / acetic acid solution was slowly added.’
    • ‘The gel was then washed several times with water to remove staining excess and the band of interest was cut out and washed in a large volume of water to remove acetic acid and ethanol.’
    • ‘The liver chemically breaks down the remaining alcohol into acetic acid.’
    • ‘When wine turns sour, it changes to vinegar, or dilute acetic acid.’
    • ‘If your aspirin bottle smells like vinegar, the tablets have started to break down to acetic acid and should be discarded.’
    • ‘The precipitate is then treated with acetic acid and an alkaline material.’
    • ‘The second step in the breakdown of alcohol is the conversion of the acetaldehyde to simple acetic acid.’
    • ‘Unlike vinegar it lacks acetic acid, which causes vinegar to clash with wine pairings.’
    • ‘Fixation was carried out with methanol / acetic acid at room temperature.’
    • ‘Two years ago, at a plant in Belgium, he and colleagues experimented with a process involving acetic acid, which gives vinegar its smell.’
    • ‘The company also plans to stock natural vinegar as a substitute for the commonly available diluted acetic acid.’


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


acetic acid

/əˌsiːtɪk ˈasɪd/