American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of a group of compounds in which a central nitrogen atom is joined to four organic radicals and one acid radical, used as antiseptics, solvents, and emulsifying agents.
- n. chemistry An amine derivative, containing four radicals, of general formula R1R2R3R4-N+X-; the radicals may be the same, different, or part of a ring; X is any univalent anion such as OH-.
- n. a compound derived from ammonium with hydrogen atoms replaced by organic groups; used as surface-active agents, disinfectants, and in drugs
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