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Meaning of acetic acid

ace'tic ac'id

Pronunciation: [key]
— Chem. Chem.
  1. a colorless, pungent, water-miscible liquid, CHO, the essential constituent of vinegar, produced by oxidation of acetaldehyde, bacterial action on ethyl alcohol, the reaction of methyl alcohol with carbon monoxide, and other processes: used chiefly in the manufacture of acetate fibers and in the production of numerous esters that are solvents and flavoring agents. Cf. glacial acetic acid.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.