molecule

noun

mol·​e·​cule ˈmä-li-ˌkyül How to pronounce molecule (audio)
1
: the smallest particle of a substance that retains all the properties (see property sense 1a) of the substance and is composed of one or more atoms (see atom sense 1a)
a molecule of water
a molecule of oxygen
2
: a tiny bit : particle
a molecule of political honesty Time

Example Sentences

There is not a molecule of evidence to support these charges. not a molecule of sense in that girl
Recent Examples on the Web This time, the researchers used a molecule consisting of an argon and a krypton atom. WIRED, 18 Nov. 2022 An enzyme called rubisco grabs carbon dioxide that has entered the leaf and attaches it to a molecule known as RuBP. Kurt Kleiner, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Nov. 2022 The debate centered around sabizabulin, a molecule originally put in development for cancer but repurposed during the pandemic. Jason Mast, STAT, 9 Nov. 2022 The surfaces of pig cells contain a sugar molecule that triggers the human immune system to attack the organs. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, 31 Oct. 2022 Those cells release a molecule known as ATP, for adenosine triphosphate. Ed Stannard, Hartford Courant, 20 Oct. 2022 Sometimes, small tweaks to a molecule’s chemical structure yielded a totally new odor. Allison Parshall, Quanta Magazine, 10 Oct. 2022 Enlarge / Is knowing how to build a molecule like this out of simple materials really needed for someone to practice medicine? John Timmer, Ars Technica, 5 Oct. 2022 For example, light emitted by a molecule placed on the surface of a conventional material such as glass or silver flows outward in circular ripples, as when a stone hits the surface of a pond. Andrea Alù, Scientific American, 3 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

French molécule, from New Latin molecula, diminutive of Latin moles mass

First Known Use

1701, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of molecule was in 1701

Dictionary Entries Near molecule

Cite this Entry

“Molecule.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/molecule. Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

molecule

noun

mol·​e·​cule ˈmäl-i-ˌkyü(ə)l How to pronounce molecule (audio)
1
: the smallest particle of a substance having all the characteristics of the substance
a molecule of water
a molecule of oxygen
2
: a very small bit : particle

Medical Definition

molecule

noun

mol·​e·​cule ˈmäl-i-ˌkyü(ə)l How to pronounce molecule (audio)
: the smallest particle of a substance that retains all the properties of the substance and is composed of one or more atoms

More from Merriam-Webster on molecule

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