Dictionary.com's Word of the Year is...
free radical n.
An uncharged atom or group of atoms having at least one unpaired electron, which makes it highly reactive.
An organic compound having some unpaired valence electrons; a normal byproduct of oxidation reactions in metabolism.
|free radical |
An atom or group of atoms that has at least one unpaired electron and is therefore unstable and highly reactive. In animal tissues, free radicals can damage cells and are believed to accelerate the progression of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and age-related diseases.