[ lahy-guh nd, lig-uh nd ]
/ ˈlaɪ gənd, ˈlɪg ənd /


Biochemistry. a molecule, as an antibody, hormone, or drug, that binds to a receptor.
Chemistry. a molecule, ion, or atom that is bonded to the central metal atom of a coordination compound.

Origin of ligand

1945–50; < Latin ligandus, gerund of ligāre to bind, tie Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for ligand


/ (ˈlɪɡənd, ˈlaɪ-) /


chem an atom, molecule, radical, or ion forming a complex with a central atom

Word Origin for ligand

C20: from Latin ligandum, gerund of ligāre to bind
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 ligand


[ līgənd, lĭgənd ]


An ion, a molecule, or a molecular group that binds to another chemical entity to form a larger complex.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.