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A solid white waxy alcohol, C16H34O, used as an emulsifier and in cosmetics, perfumes, and pharmaceuticals.
[Latin cētus, whale; see Cetus + -yl.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ce′tyl al′cohol(ˈsit l)
a white crystalline water-insoluble solid, C16H34O, used chiefly as an emollient in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
[1870–75; < Latin cēt(us) whale; from its being found in spermaceti]
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