optical isomerism

noun Chemistry.

stereoisomerism in which the isomers are identical in molecular weight and most chemical and physical properties but differ in their effect on the rotation of polarized light.


Nearby words

  1. optical flint,
  2. optical glass,
  3. optical illusion,
  4. optical image,
  5. optical isomer,
  6. optical mark reading,
  7. optical microscope,
  8. optical mouse,
  9. optical path,
  10. optical printer

Origin of optical isomerism

First recorded in 1890–95

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

British Dictionary definitions for optical isomerism

optical isomerism


isomerism of chemical compounds in which the two isomers differ only in that their molecules are mirror images of each otherSee also dextrorotation, laevorotatory, racemize
Derived Formsoptical isomer, noun

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 optical isomerism

optical isomerism


Stereoisomerism involving the arrangement of substituents about an asymmetric carbon atom or atoms so that the various isomers differ in how they rotate a plane of polarized light.

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