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[noo-klee-uh-fil-ik, nyoo-]
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adjective Chemistry.
  1. of or relating to electron contribution in covalent bonding (opposed to electrophilic).

Origin of nucleophilic

First recorded in 1930–35; nucleo- + -philic
Related formsnu·cle·o·phile [noo-klee-uh-fahyl, nyoo-] /ˈnu kli əˌfaɪl, ˈnyu-/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for nucleophilic


  1. chem having or involving an affinity for positive charge. Nucleophilic reagents (nucleophiles) are molecules, atoms, and ions that behave as electron donorsCompare electrophilic
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