[ noo-klee-uh-fil-ik, nyoo- ]
/ ˌnu kli əˈfɪl ɪk, ˌnyu- /

adjective Chemistry.

of or relating to electron contribution in covalent bonding (opposed to electrophilic).

Origin of nucleophilic

First recorded in 1930–35; nucleo- + -philic

Related forms

nu·cle·o·phile [noo-klee-uh-fahyl, nyoo-] /ˈnu kli əˌfaɪl, ˈnyu-/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for nucleophile


/ (ˌnjuːklɪəʊˈfɪlɪk) /


chem having or involving an affinity for positive charge. Nucleophilic reagents (nucleophiles) are molecules, atoms, and ions that behave as electron donorsCompare electrophilic
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 nucleophile


[ nōōklē-ə-fīl′ ]


A chemical compound or group that is attracted to nuclei and tends to donate or share electrons.

Related forms

nu′cle•o•philic (-fĭlĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.