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[kee-leyt] /ˈki leɪt/
  1. of or noting a heterocyclic compound having a central metallic ion attached by covalent bonds to two or more nonmetallic atoms in the same molecule.
  2. of or noting a compound having a cyclic structure resulting from the formation of one or more hydrogen bonds in the same molecule.
Zoology. having a chela or chelae.
Chemistry. a chelate compound.
verb (used without object), chelated, chelating. Chemistry
(of a heterocyclic compound) to react to form a chelate.
(of a compound) to form a ring by forming one or more hydrogen bonds.
verb (used with object), chelated, chelating.
Chemistry. to combine (an organic compound) with a metallic ion to form a chelate.
Origin of chelate
1820-30; chel(a)1 + -ate1
Related forms
chelatable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for chelate
  • If leaves turn yellow between veins, apply iron chelate.
  • Plants must reduce ferric to ferrous in the chelate so that ferrous can be released for absorption by root cells.
British Dictionary definitions for chelate


(chem) a coordination compound in which a metal atom or ion is bound to a ligand at two or more points on the ligand, so as to form a heterocyclic ring containing a metal atom
(zoology) of or possessing chelae
(chem) of or denoting a chelate
(intransitive) (chem) to form a chelate
Word Origin
C20: from chela1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chelate

"having pincer-like claws," 1826 as a term in zoology; 1920 in chemistry, from Modern Latin chela "claw" (from Greek khele "claw, talon, cloven hoof;" see chelicerae) + -ate (2). Related: Chelated; chelating; chelation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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chelate in Medicine

chelate che·late (kē'lāt')
A chemical compound in the form of a heterocyclic ring, containing a metal ion attached by coordinate bonds to at least two nonmetal ions. v. che·lat·ed, che·lat·ing, che·lates

  1. To combine a metal ion with a chemical compound to form a ring.

  2. To remove a heavy metal, such as lead or mercury, from the bloodstream by means of a chelate.

che'late' adj.
che·la'tion n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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chelate in Science
A chemical compound in the form of a ring that contains a metal ion attached by coordinate bonds to at least two nonmetal ions. Many commercial dyes as well as important biological substances, such as chlorophyll and the heme of hemoglobin, are chelates.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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