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open chain

noun, Chemistry.
a series of atoms linked in a chain not joined together at its ends, and so represented in its structural formula.
Compare closed chain.
Origin of open chain
Related forms
open-chain, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for open-chain
Historical Examples
  • Carbohydrates are classed as open-chain compounds, that is, they may be regarded as derivatives of the aliphatic hydrocarbons.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher
  • However, the ordinary aldehyde reactions of the sugars are more clearly indicated by the open-chain formula.

    The Chemistry of Plant Life Roscoe Wilfred Thatcher
British Dictionary definitions for open-chain

open chain

a chain of atoms in a molecule that is not joined at its ends into the form of a ring
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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open-chain in Science
open chain  
An arrangement of atoms of the same type that does not form a ring. Aliphatic compounds, such as ethane and isopropyl alcohol, are open-chain compounds.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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