- an open chain of atoms, usually carbon, with no side chains attached to it.
Compare branched chain.
Origin of straight-chain
First recorded in 1925–30
Also called straight chain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- an open chain of atoms in a molecule with no attached side chains
- (as modifier)a straight-chain hydrocarbon
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 forms an unbranched open chain. Propane is a straight-chain compound with a chain of three carbon atoms.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.