Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Containing three atoms per molecule.
  • adj. Containing three replaceable atoms or radicals.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Consisting of three atoms.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having three atoms; -- said of certain elements or radicals.
  • adj. Having a valence of three; trivalent; sometimes, in a specific sense, having three hydroxyl groups, whether acid or basic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In chem.: Consisting of three atoms: applied to the molecules of elements where the atoms are of the same kind: as, a triatomic element; or to compounds where the atoms are unlike: as, triatomic molecules.
  • Same as trivalent.
  • Having three hydroxyl groups by which other atoms or radicals may be attached without altering the structure of the rest of the molecule: thus, glycerin is called a triatomic alcohol.

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