- Chem.1. (of a molecule) See molecular weight.2. (of an ionic compound that does not form molecules) the sum of the atomic weights of the atoms of the formula unit.
* * *The term is generally applied to a substance that consists of ions (see ionic bond) rather than individual molecules (and thus does not have a molecular weight). An example of such a substance is sodium chloride (table salt). Such a substance's chemical formula describes the simplest ratio of the number of atoms of the constituent elements. See also stoichiometry.
* * *in chemistry, the sum of the atomic weights of all atoms appearing in a given chemical formula. It is generally applied to a substance that does not consist of individual molecules, such as the ionic compound sodium chloride. Such a substance is customarily represented by a chemical formula that describes the simplest ratio of the number of atoms of the constituent elements, i.e., an empirical formula.
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