One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A reaction between two aldehyde or two ketone molecules (or an aldehyde and a ketone) to yield a single molecule with one hydroxyl and one carbonyl group (exemplified by the conversion of acetaldehyde to aldol), this product typically losing a water molecule readily to form an unsaturated aldehyde or ketone.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Edgar Fahs Smith (1854–1928). After German Aldolcondensation.
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