from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Either of two colorless isomeric acids, C3H7COOH, occurring in animal milk fats and used in disinfectants, emulsifying agents, and pharmaceuticals. Also called butanoic acid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Either of the two isomeric carboxylic acids, normal butyric acid and isobutyric acid, with the chemical formula C3H7COOH, occurring in animal milk fat.
  • n. Solely the straight chain isomer of the above, normal butyric acid or n-butyric acid, CH3(CH2)2COOH, a short chain fatty acid; its glyceride is one of the principle components of the flavour of butter.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. C3H7.CO2H, an acid found in butter; an oily, limpid fluid, having the smell of rancid butter, and an acrid taste, with a sweetish aftertaste, like that of ether. There are two metameric butyric acids, called in distinction the normal- and iso-butyric acid. The normal butyric acid is the one common in rancid butter.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an unpleasant smelling fatty acid found especially in butter


From Greek βούτυρος meaning "butter", from which it can be isolated (Wiktionary)


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