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noun, plural: aliphatic compounds
(biochemistry) A major group of organic compounds composed of carbon and hydrogen arranged in straight or branched chains, and not containing aromatic rings.
Aliphatic compounds include alkanes such as fatty acids and paraffin hydrocarbons, alkenes (such as ethylene) and alkynes (such as acetylene).
Word origin: aliphatic + compound.
Also called: aliphatic
Compare: aromatic compound
See also: hydrocarbon