adjective Chemistry.
(of a molecule) not superimposable on its mirror image.

1894; chir- < Greek cheír hand + -al1; coined by Lord Kelvin

chirality [kahy-ral-i-tee] , noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
chirality (kaɪˈrælɪtɪ)
Also called: dissymmetry the configuration or handedness (left or right) of an asymmetric, optically active chemical compound
[C19: from Greek kheir hand + -al1 + -ity]

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Word Origin & History

1894, coined by Lord Kelvin from Gk. kheir "hand."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
chirality  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (kī-rāl'ĭ-tē)  Pronunciation Key 
The characteristic of a structure (usually a molecule) that makes it impossible to superimpose it on its mirror image. Also called handedness. See also helicity, invariance, optical isomer.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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