- a series of atoms linked in a chain not joined together at its ends, and so represented in its structural formula.
Compare closed chain.
Origin of open chain
First recorded in 1880–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for open chain
Carbohydrates are classed as open-chain compounds, that is, they may be regarded as derivatives of the aliphatic hydrocarbons.
However, the ordinary aldehyde reactions of the sugars are more clearly indicated by the open-chain formula.
- a chain of atoms in a molecule that is not joined at its ends into the form of a ring
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
- An arrangement of atoms of the same type that does not form a ring. Aliphatic compounds, such as ethane and isopropyl alcohol, are open-chain compounds.
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