a chemical formula indicating the elements of a compound and their relative proportions, as (CH2O)n.
Click for a side-by-side comparison of meanings. Use the word comparison feature to learn the differences between similar and commonly confused words.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use empirical formula in a sentence
Guetta is himself evidently at a loss to grasp the significance of the empirical formula, "Listen and imitate."The Psychology of Singing | David C. Taylor
If now the derivative is formed entirely without the hydrolysis the empirical formula C6H6O.Researches on Cellulose | C. F. Cross
The principal constituent of the crude material is the pure gutta, a hydrocarbon of the empirical formula C10H16.
British Dictionary definitions for empirical formula
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
Scientific definitions for empirical formula
A chemical formula that indicates the relative proportions of the elements in a molecule rather than the actual number of atoms of the elements. The empirical formula of a compound may be simpler than its molecular formula, which is a multiple of the empirical formula. For example, glucose has the molecular formula C6H12O6 but the empirical formula CH2O. Compare molecular formula structural formula.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.