empirical formula

  1. a chemical formula indicating the elements of a compound and their relative proportions, as (CH2O)n.

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Origin of empirical formula

First recorded in 1820–30

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British Dictionary definitions for empirical formula

empirical formula

  1. a chemical formula indicating the proportion of each element present in a molecule: C 6 H 12 O 6 is the molecular formula of sucrose whereas CH 2 O is its empirical formula Compare molecular formula, structural formula

  2. a formula or expression obtained from experimental data rather than theory

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

empirical formula

  1. 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.

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