Definition of amphoteric in English:


Line breaks: ampho|ter¦ic
Pronunciation: /ˌamfəˈtɛrɪk


  • (Of a compound, especially a metal oxide or hydroxide) able to react both as a base and as an acid.
    More example sentences
    • Amino acids are amphoteric organic acids that are able to biochemically react with both acids or bases.
    • Proteins can also be amphoteric compounds - a compound that can take on a negative or positive charge depending on the surrounding conditions.
    • Finally, amphoteric detergents have either a positively or negatively charged ion, depending on the pH of the system they are incorporated into.


mid 19th century: from Greek amphoteros, comparative of amphō 'both', + -ic.

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