Definition of aliphatic in English:



  • Relating to or denoting organic compounds in which carbon atoms form open chains (as in the alkanes), not aromatic rings.

    • ‘Aromatic and aliphatic polyurethanes share the following properties that make them suitable for use in medical devices.’
    • ‘The majority of substances identified were aliphatic or aromatic hydrocarbons.’
    • ‘These included formaldehyde, several other aldehydes, ketones, aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, glycol ethers, organic acids, and alcohols.’
    • ‘For example, alkyl groups can be introduced into aliphatic hydrocarbons or aromatic hydrocarbons by alkylation reactions.’
    • ‘The most relevant candidate for this kind of investigation is 19 F-labeled tryptophan, besides other aromatic and aliphatic amino acids.’


  • An aliphatic compound.

    • ‘The characteristic that distinguishes benzene from the aliphatics and alicyclics, and that defines the aromatics, is the arrangement of electrons in the ring.’
    • ‘For the chlorinated aliphatics industry, the main data to be collected will be clarifications to survey information, and possibly site visits.’
    • ‘Pesticide organochlorines are diphenyl aliphatics previously used to control insect vector infections.’
    • ‘Aliphatics are our company's range of hydrocarbon fluids including specialty brands.’
    • ‘Focusing on aliphatics, this series can be further divided into families called homologous series of compounds.’


Late 19th century (originally used of the fatty acids): from Greek aleiphar, aleiphat- ‘fat’ + -ic.