stearin (n.)

glycerine of stearic acid, white crystalline compound found in animal and vegetable fats (it was derived from mutton fat, among other things), 1817, from French stéarine, coined by French chemist Marie-Eugène Chevreul (1786-1889) from Greek stear (genitive steatos) "tallow, stiff fat, suet" (contrasted with pimele "soft fat, lard;" compare Latin sebum/adeps), possibly from PIE *stai- "stone," also "to thicken, stiffen" (see stone (n.)). Stearic (1831) is from French stéarique.

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