Definition of Le Chatelier's principle in US English:

Le Chatelier's principle

  • A principle stating that if a constraint (such as a change in pressure, temperature, or concentration of a reactant) is applied to a system in equilibrium, the equilibrium will shift so as to tend to counteract the effect of the constraint.

    • ‘Let's look at what Le Chatelier's principle teaches us about how equilibrium reactions can be disturbed and how and why they respond to disturbances.’
    • ‘Only the heat of solution at saturation is relevant when applying Le Chatelier's principle to explain temperature effects on solubility.’
    • ‘This is the first report demonstrating that the Le Chatelier's principle applies to the reaction of biopolymers against equilibrium disturbances such as osmotic stress.’
    • ‘The three ways that Le Chatelier's principle says you can affect the outcome of the equilibrium are as follows.’
    • ‘Today's students’ texts generally mention Le Chatelier's principle, but tend to play down its significance.’


Early 20th century: named after Henri le Chatelier (1850–1936), French chemist.


Le Chatelier's principle

/lə ˈSHädlˌyāz ˌprinsəpəl/