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functional group

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noun
a group of atoms responsible for the characteristic behavior of the class of compounds in which the group occurs, as the hydroxyl group in alcohols.
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Origin of functional group

First recorded in 1935–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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British Dictionary definitions for functional group

functional group

noun
chem the group of atoms in a compound, such as the hydroxyl group in an alcohol, that determines the chemical behaviour of the compound
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 functional group

functional group

An atom or group of atoms that replaces hydrogen in an organic compound. Functional groups define the structure of a family of compounds and determine its properties. The carboxyl and hydroxyl groups are functional groups that define the compounds they are part of as organic acids and alcohols, respectively.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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