Share this entry

Share this page

chiral

Line breaks: chir¦al
Pronunciation: /ˈkʌɪr(ə)l
 
/

Definition of chiral in English:

adjective

Chemistry
Asymmetric in such a way that the structure and its mirror image are not superimposable.
Example sentences
  • Most alkaloids are also chiral molecules, meaning they have nonsuperimposable mirror images.
  • The resulting chiral nematic giant liquid crystals had wide temperature ranges for their liquid crystal phases, from room temperature to about 80° Celsius.
  • The most common examples of chiral molecules are enantiomers.

Origin

late 19th century: from Greek kheir 'hand' + -al.

Derivatives

chirality

1
Pronunciation: /-ˈralɪti/
noun
Example sentences
  • Such isomers are called enantiomers and molecules that have enantiomers are said to be chiral or to show chirality.
  • All of this is achieved without switching the chirality of the catalyst.
  • The technique might also be used to template the growth of complex molecular structures with novel architecture and chirality.

Definition of chiral in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtərpsikəˈrēən
adjective
of or relating to dancing