catenation

[kat-n-ey-shuhn]
noun
1.
the act or process of catenating.
2.
Chemistry. the linking of identical atoms to form chainlike molecules.

Origin:
1635–45; < Latin catēnātiōn-, stem of catēnātiō; see catenate, -ion

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World English Dictionary
catenate (ˈkætɪˌneɪt)
 
vb
1.  biology to arrange or be arranged in a series of chains or rings
 
adj
2.  another word for catenulate
 
[C17: from Latin catēnāre to bind with chains]
 
cate'nation
 
n

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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

catenation

chemical linkage into chains of atoms of the same element, occurring only among the atoms of an element that has a valence of at least two and that forms relatively strong bonds with itself. The property is predominant among carbon atoms, significant among sulfur and silicon atoms, and slightly present among germanium, nitrogen, selenium, and tellurium atoms. See also polymerization.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
It is this same feature that explains the marked difference in the tendencies to catenation shown by these elements.
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