- oleic acid
- An unsaturated fatty acid that is the most widely distributed and abundant fatty acid in nature; used commercially in the preparation of oleates and lotions, and as a pharmaceutical solvent. Cf.:elaidic acid. [L. oleum, oil]
* * *oleic acid n a monounsaturated fatty acid C18H34O2 found in natural fats and oils
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* * *ole·ic ac·id (o-leґik) a monounsaturated 18-carbon fatty acid, liquid at room temperature and occurring in most animal fats and vegetable oils. See also table accompanying fatty acid. [NF] a preparation consisting mainly of oleic acid with some palmitic and stearic acids, manufactured from fats and oils that are derived from edible sources unless the mixture is for external use only; used as an emulsifying agent and to assist absorption of some drugs by the skin.
Medical dictionary. 2011.