Meaning of maleic anhydride

male'ic anhy'dride

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. a colorless crystalline, unsaturated compound, CHO, that is soluble in acetone and hydrolyzes in water: used in the production of polyester resins, pesticides, and fumaric and tartaric acids.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.