[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. alinasal,
  2. aline,
  3. alinotum,
  4. alioth,
  5. aliped,
  6. aliphatic acids,
  7. alipterion,
  8. aliquant,
  9. aliquippa,
  10. aliquot

Origin of aliphatic

1885–90; < Greek aleiphat- (stem of áleiphar oil, fat) + -ic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for aliphatic

British Dictionary definitions for aliphatic


/ (ˌælɪˈfætɪk) /


(of an organic compound) not aromatic, esp having an open chain structure, such as alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes

Word Origin for aliphatic

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

Medicine definitions for aliphatic


[ ăl′ə-fătĭk ]


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.

Science definitions for aliphatic


[ ăl′ə-fătĭk ]

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.