Definition of heterocyclic in US English:



  • Denoting a compound whose molecule contains a ring of atoms of at least two elements (one of which is generally carbon).

    • ‘Cooking meats at high temperatures creates chemicals called heterocyclic amines that are otherwise not present in uncooked meats.’
    • ‘The majority of photosensitive molecules have a heterocyclic ring structure similar to that of chlorophyll or hemoglobin.’
    • ‘Unlike hydrocarbon based aromatics, which react most readily with electrophiles, perfluoro-aromatics and heterocyclic ring systems react better with nucleophiles.’
    • ‘The nucleotides found in cells are derivatives of the heterocyclic highly basic, compounds, purine and pyrimidine.’
    • ‘Also included are heterocyclic amine compounds, which are formed when meats and eggs are cooked or grilled at high temperatures and also found in cigarette smoke.’