One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A white crystalline substance which is the main constituent of tallow and suet. It is a glyceryl ester of stearic acid.
- ‘A compromise material was stearin - also known as adamantine from its resemblance to stone.’
- ‘Palm kernel stearin and hydrogenated palm kernel stearin can be used to prepare compound chocolate bars or coatings.’
- ‘By fractionation, various grades of olein and stearin are available commercially, enabling the food manufactures to select the properties they particularly require.’
- ‘The proportion of stearin you will use depends on the effect you're looking for.’
- 1.1 A mixture of fatty acids used in candlemaking.
- ‘Use 10% of stearin to wax when making candles.’
- ‘Revenue authorities are flummoxed by the huge spurt in imports of palm fatty acid distillates and crude palm stearin - raw materials normally used in soap manufacture.’
Early 19th century: from French stéarine, from Greek stear ‘tallow’.
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