[lahy-guhnd, lig-uhnd]
Biochemistry. a molecule, as an antibody, hormone, or drug, that binds to a receptor.
Chemistry. a molecule, ion, or atom that is bonded to the central metal atom of a coordination compound.

1945–50; < Latin ligandus, gerund of ligāre to bind, tie Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ligand (ˈlɪɡənd, ˈlaɪ-)
chem an atom, molecule, radical, or ion forming a complex with a central atom
[C20: from Latin ligandum, gerund of ligāre to bind]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1952, from L. ligandus, gerundive of ligare "to bind" (see ligament).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

ligand li·gand (lī'gənd, lĭg'ənd)
An ion, a molecule, or a molecular group that binds to another chemical entity to form a larger complex.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
When a receptor binds to its matched protein, called a ligand, it trips a series of cellular signals that turn genes on and off.
Another unusual ligand from the electron counting perspective is sulfur dioxide.
Different ligand structural arrangements result from the coordination number.
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