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; < Greekaleiphat- (stem of áleiphar oil, fat) + -ic
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.