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[kahy-ruh l] /ˈkaɪ rəl/
adjective, Chemistry
(of a molecule) not superimposable on its mirror image.
Origin of chiral
1894; chir- < Greek cheír hand + -al1; coined by Lord Kelvin
Related forms
[kahy-ral-i-tee] /kaɪˈræl ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for chiral
  • Dissolve a resolved chiral molecule, a left foot, in solvent to homogeneity.
  • chiral chromatography involves the separation of stereoisomers.
Word Origin and History for chiral

1894, a hybrid coined by Lord Kelvin from Latinized comb. form of Greek kheir "hand" (from PIE *ghes- "hand;" see chiro-) + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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chiral in Medicine

chiral chi·ral (kī'rəl)
Of or relating to the structural characteristic of a molecule that makes it impossible to superimpose it on its mirror image.

chi·ral'i·ty (kī-rāl'ĭ-tē) 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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