noun, Chemistry, Biochemistry.
an atom or molecule that bears an unpaired electron and is extremely reactive, capable of engaging in rapid chain reactions that destabilize other molecules and generate many more free radicals: in the body, deactivated by antioxidants, uric acid, and certain enzyme activities.
an atom or group of atoms containing at least one unpaired electron and existing for a brief period of time before reacting to produce a stable molecule Sometimes shortened to radical Compare group (sense 10)

free radical n.

free radical
An atom or group of atoms that has at least one unpaired electron and is therefore unstable and highly reactive. In animal tissues, free radicals can damage cells and are believed to accelerate the progression of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and age-related diseases.


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