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[tsvit-er-ahy-uh n] /ˈtsvɪt ərˌaɪ ən/
noun, Physical Chemistry
an ion with both a positive and a negative charge.
Origin of zwitterion
< German Zwitterion (1897), equivalent to Zwitter hybrid, hermaphrodite + Ion ion
Related forms
[tsvit-er-ahy-on-ik] /ˌtsvɪt ər aɪˈɒn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for zwitterion
  • It is thought that a zwitterion is formed between the phenolic hydroxyl and the free amine.
British Dictionary definitions for zwitterion


(chem) an ion that carries both a positive and a negative charge
Derived Forms
zwitterionic (ˌtsvɪtəraɪˈɒnɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C20: from German Zwitter hermaphrodite + ion
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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zwitterion in Medicine

zwitterion zwit·ter·i·on (zwĭt'ər-ī'ən, swĭt'-, tsvĭt'-)
See dipolar ion.

zwit'ter·i·on'ic (-ī-ŏn'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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