general formula

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general formula (plural general formulas or general formulae)

  1. (chemistry) The molecular formula of a class of compounds in which actual numbers are represented by x, n etc., and organic radicals are represented as Rn
    The general formula for saturated aliphatic hydrocarbons is CnH2n+2 and the molecular formula for propane is C3H8
    The general formula for alcohols is R-OH and the molecular formula for methanol is CH3-OH