[het-er-uh-sahy-klik, -sik-lik]

adjective Chemistry.

of or relating to the branch of chemistry dealing with cyclic compounds in which at least one of the ring members is not a carbon atom (contrasted with homocyclic).
noting such compounds, as ethylene oxide, C2H4O.

Nearby words

  1. heterochrony,
  2. heterochthonous,
  3. heterocladic anastomosis,
  4. heteroclite,
  5. heterocrine,
  6. heterocyst,
  7. heterocytotropic,
  8. heterocytotropic antibody,
  9. heterodactyl,
  10. heterodactylous

Origin of heterocyclic

First recorded in 1895–1900; hetero- + cyclic

Related formshet·er·o·cy·cle [het-er-uh-sahy-kuh l] /ˈhɛt ər əˌsaɪ kəl/, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for heterocyclic

British Dictionary definitions for heterocyclic



(of an organic compound) containing a closed ring of atoms, at least one of which is not a carbon atomCompare homocyclic
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 heterocyclic


[hĕt′ə-rō-sīklĭk, -sĭklĭk]


Containing more than one kind of atom joined in a ring.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for heterocyclic


[hĕt′ə-rō-sīklĭk, -sĭklĭk]

Of or relating to a compound containing a closed ring structure made of more than one kind of atom. Pyridine (C5H5N), for example, is a heterocyclic compound, as its ring contains five carbon atoms and one nitrogen atom. Compare homocyclic.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.