Any of a large group of monobasic acids, especially those found in animal and vegetable fats and oils, having the general formula CnH2n+1COOH. Characteristically made up of saturated or unsaturated aliphatic compounds with an even number of carbon atoms, this group of acids includes palmitic, stearic, and oleic acids.
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.