Supercharge your learning!

Use adaptive quiz-based learning to study this topic faster and more effectively.

Carboxylic acid definition

Carboxylic acids are organic molecules containing the acidic functional group $$\ce{-COOH}$$. They have the general formula $$\text{C}_\text{n}\text{H}_{2\text{n}+1}\text{COOH}.$$

The functional group of carboxylic acids, ($$\ce{-COOH})$$, is called the carboxyl group.

Carboxylic acids are colourless liquids at room temperature and pressure.

The table shows the first four acids in the homologous series.

Name Diagram Formula
Methanoic acid
$$\ce{HCOOH}$$
Ethanoic acid
$$\ce{CH3COOH}$$
Propanoic acid
$$\ce{C2H5COOH}$$
Butanoic acid
$$\ce{C3H7COOH}$$