side chain


Definition of side chain

: a shorter chain or group of atoms attached to a principal chain or to a ring in a molecule

Examples of side chain in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The alkyl side chain is the driving force behind a cannabinoid's effects on humans. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 3 Feb. 2020 At that resolution, the researchers could make out the side chains of the virus’s proteins, which had been difficult to see in earlier images by other groups. Jaclyn Jeffrey-wilensky, STAT, 26 June 2018

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

First Known Use of side chain

1873, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for side chain

Time Traveler

The first known use of side chain was in 1873

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Dictionary Entries Near side chain


side chain

side-chain theory

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Cite this Entry

“Side chain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for side chain

side chain


Medical Definition of side chain

: a branched chain of atoms attached to the principal chain or to a ring in a molecule

More from Merriam-Webster on side chain Encyclopedia article about side chain


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