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See also: molécule


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Structural formula and two molecule models (ball-and-stick and space-filling) of caffeine.


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. pp. 522–23. Diminutive of moles



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.
    Hydrogen chloride is a diatomic molecule, consisting of a hydrogen atom and a chlorine atom.
    • 2013 September-October, Katie L. Burke, “In the News”, in 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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