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[kahy-ruh l] /ˈkaɪ rəl/

adjective, Chemistry.
(of a molecule) not superimposable on its mirror image.
the configuration or handedness (left or right) of an asymmetric, optically active chemical compound Also called dissymmetry

1894, a hybrid coined by Lord Kelvin from Latinized comb. form of Greek kheir “hand” (from PIE *ghes- “hand;” see chiro-) + -al (1).

chiral chi·ral (kī’rəl)
Of or relating to the structural characteristic of a molecule that makes it impossible to superimpose it on its mirror image.
chi·ral’i·ty (kī-rāl’ĭ-tē) n.
The characteristic of a structure (usually a molecule) that makes it impossible to superimpose it on its mirror image. Also called handedness. See also helicity, invariance, optical isomer.


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