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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Glycerin \Glyc"er*in\, Glycerine \Glyc"er*ine\, n. [F. glyc['e]rine, fr. Gr. glykero`s, glyky`s, sweet. Cf. Glucose, Licorice.] (Chem.) An oily, viscous liquid, C3H5(OH)3, colorless and odorless, and with a hot, sweetish taste, existing in the natural fats and oils as the base, combined with various acids, as oleic, margaric, stearic, and palmitic. It may be obtained by saponification of fats and oils. It is a triatomic alcohol, and hence is also called glycerol. See Note under Gelatin. [1913 Webster] Note: It is obtained from fats by saponification, or, on a large scale, by the action of superheated steam. It is used as an ointment, as a solvent and vehicle for medicines, and as an adulterant in wine, beer, etc. [1913 Webster]