Last modified on 16 December 2014, at 18:08

molecule

See also: molécule

EnglishEdit

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Wikipedia

Diagrams showing the structure of the caffeine molecule.

EtymologyEdit

Summary: from French molécule, from New Latin molecula (a molecule), diminutive of Latin moles (a mass); see mole.

French molécule (1674, Pierre Le Gallois, Conversations tirées de l'Académie de M. l'abbé Bourdelot, contenant diverses recherches et observations physiques) cited in Quemada, Bernard (1965), Datations et documents lexicographiques (tome 3).

Medieval Latin molecula (early XVII cent., Pierre Gassendi), cited in Le Grand Robert de la Langue Française (2e édn) tome 6. ISBN 2-85036-094-5. pp. 522–23. Diminutive of moles

NounEdit

molecule (plural molecules or moleculæ)

  1. (chemistry) The smallest particle of a specific element or compound that retains the chemical properties of that element or compound; two or more atoms held together by chemical bonds.
    • 2013 September-October, Katie L. Burke, “In the News”, American Scientist: 
      The critical component of the photosynthetic system is the “water-oxidizing complex”, made up of manganese atoms and a calcium atom. This system splits water molecules and delivers some of their electrons to other molecules that help build up carbohydrates.
  2. A tiny amount.

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