Molecule  

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  1. The smallest particle of a specific element or compound that retains the chemical properties of that element or compound; a group of atoms held together by chemical bonds.
  2. A tiny amount.

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A molecule is an electrically neutral group of two or more atoms held together by chemical bonds.

Etymology

From French molécule (1674, Pierre Le Gallois, Conversations tirées de l'Académie de M. l'abbé Bourdelot, contenant diverses recherches et observations physiques) cited in Quemada, Bernard (1965), Datations et documents lexicographiques (tome 3).

Medieval Latin molecula (early XVII cent., Pierre Gassendi), cited in Le Grand Robert de la Langue Française (2e édn) tome 6. ISBN 2-85036-094-5. pp. 522–23. Diminutive of moles




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