Definition of electronegative in English:



  • 1Physics
    Electrically negative.

    ‘Specifically, large electropositive or electronegative regions can reasonably attract oppositely charged entities through long-range electrostatic interactions.’
    • ‘The centers of corresponding ellipsoids are close, in agreement with well-known restrictions on the hydrogen bonding of electronegative atoms.’
    • ‘Consequently, the more electronegative atom has a partial negative charge.’
    • ‘For example, electrons in a covalent bond are assigned to the more electronegative atom.’
    • ‘The less electronegative atom will have a partial positive charge since the shared electrons spend less time near it.’
  • 2Chemistry
    (of an element) tending to acquire electrons and form negative ions in chemical reactions.

    ‘In the case of binary covalent compounds, the positive oxidation number is assigned to the more electropositive element, and the negative oxidation number to the more electronegative element.’
    • ‘Since there are two atoms bound to the sulfur atom (the less electronegative element), there must be one double bond.’
    • ‘Oxygen, the next most electronegative element, is also a powerful oxidant, as are chlorine and bromine.’
    • ‘Because halogens are highly electronegative, their atoms normally retain negative charge in these compounds.’
    • ‘Also, the energy has such a large negative value, because the cholesterol hydroxyl interaction with the phosphate group involves several electronegative phosphate oxygens.’



/əˌlektrəˈneɡədiv/ /əˌlɛktrəˈnɛɡədɪv/