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aliphatic compound

any chemical compound belonging to the organic class in which the atoms are not linked together to form a ring. One of the major structural groups of organic molecules, the aliphatic compounds include the alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes, and substances derived from them-actually or in principle-by replacing one or more hydrogen atoms by atoms of other elements or groups of atoms.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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