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[ih-lek-troh-neg-uh-tiv] /ɪˌlɛk troʊˈnɛg ə tɪv/
adjective, Physical Chemistry
containing negative electricity; tending to migrate to the positive pole in electrolysis.
assuming negative potential when in contact with a dissimilar substance.
Origin of electronegative
1800-10; electro- + negative
Related forms
electronegativity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for electronegative
  • In many electronegative plasmas more than one positive or negative ion species, as well as neutral species, maybe important.
  • Partially electropositive phosphorus is attracted to partially electronegative serine.
British Dictionary definitions for electronegative


having a negative electric charge
(of an atom, group, molecule, etc) tending to gain or attract electrons and form negative ions or polarized bonds Compare electropositive
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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electronegative in Medicine

electronegative e·lec·tro·neg·a·tive (ĭ-lěk'trō-něg'ə-tĭv)

  1. Having a negative electric charge.

  2. Tending to attract electrons to form a chemical bond.

  3. Capable of acting as a negative electrode.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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electronegative in Science
  1. Tending to attract electrons and to form a negative ion. Nonmetals are generally electronegative.

  2. Having a negative electric charge.

  3. Capable of acting as a negative electrode.

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