[ 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.

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.