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[al-uh-fat-ik] /ˌæl əˈfæt ɪk/
adjective, Chemistry.
pertaining to nonaromatic hydrocarbon compounds in which the constituent carbon atoms can be straight-chain, branched chain, or cyclic, as in alicyclic compounds; saturated, as in the paraffins; or unsaturated, as in the olefins and alkynes.
Origin of aliphatic
1885-90; < Greek aleiphat- (stem of áleiphar oil, fat) + -ic Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for aliphatic


(of an organic compound) not aromatic, esp having an open chain structure, such as alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes
Word Origin
C19: from Greek aleiphat-, aleiphar oil
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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aliphatic in Medicine

aliphatic al·i·phat·ic (āl'ə-fāt'ĭk)
Of, relating to, or being a group of organic chemical compounds in which the carbon atoms are linked in open chains.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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aliphatic in Science

Relating to organic compounds whose carbon atoms are linked in open chains, either straight or branched, rather than containing a benzene ring. Alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes are aliphatic compounds. Compare aromatic.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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