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

  • n. A sweet white crystalline alcohol, C5H12O5, derived from xylose and used especially as a sugar substitute in oral health products.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a pentahydric alcohol, C5H12O5, penta-hydroxy pentane; derived from xylose; used as a sweetener


xyl(ose) + (sorb)itol.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin xylos ("wood or cotton-tree") + -itol ("anhydric alcohol") (Wiktionary)



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