structural formula

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noun Chemistry.
a chemical formula showing the linkage of the atoms in a molecule diagrammatically, as H–O–H.


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Origin of structural formula

First recorded in 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use structural formula in a sentence

  • The structural formula for benzene, C6H6, is one which it is difficult and inconvenient to reproduce in type.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life|Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher
  • With the structural formula of Harries as a clue chemists all over the world plunged into the problem with renewed hope.

    Creative Chemistry|Edwin E. Slosson
  • Hence guanidine from its structural formula is a carbodiamidimide.

British Dictionary definitions for structural formula

structural formula

a chemical formula showing the composition and structure of a molecule. The atoms are represented by symbols and the structure is indicated by showing the relative positions of the atoms in space and the bonds between themH–C≡C–H is the structural formula of acetylene See also empirical formula, molecular formula
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 structural formula

structural formula
[ strŭkchər-əl ]

A chemical formula that shows how the atoms making up a compound are arranged within the molecule. For example, the structural formula of aspirin is CH3COOC6H4COOH, indicating that it consists of an acetyl group (CH3COO) attached to the carboxylic acid (COOH) of a phenyl group (C6H4). Compare empirical formula molecular formula.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.