functional group


Definition of functional group

: a characteristic reactive unit of a chemical compound especially in organic chemistry

Examples of functional group in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web What exactly are fatty acids? Fatty acids are long strings of hydrocarbons with a carboxylic acid functional group on one end. A.a. Newton, SELF, "Do You Really Need to Put Fatty Acids on Your Face?," 28 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'functional group.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of functional group

1892, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of functional group was in 1892

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Cite this Entry

“Functional group.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for functional group

functional group


Medical Definition of functional group

: a characteristic reactive unit of a chemical compound

More from Merriam-Webster on functional group Encyclopedia article about functional group

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