Definition of nucleophilic in English:


Pronunciation /ˌn(y)o͞oklēōˈfilik/ /ˌn(j)uklioʊˈfɪlɪk/


  • (of a molecule or group) having a tendency to donate electrons or react at electron-poor sites such as protons.

    Often contrasted with electrophilic

    ‘EO is a direct-acting mutagen that reacts with nucleophilic molecules, including DNA, causing gene mutation and chromosome deletions in somatic cells.’
    • ‘Methyl lithium is very reactive and acts as a nucleophilic methylating reagent to electrophilic functional groups, such as ketones.’
    • ‘In the case of aldehydes and ketones containing carbonyl groups, the highly nucleophilic Grignard reagent contributes its electron pair to form a bond with the carbon atom.’
    • ‘One highly characteristic reaction of aldehydes and ketones is nucleophilic addition to the carbon-oxygen double bond.’
    • ‘The most common substitution reactions of compounds of non-metallic elements are nucleophilic and electrophilic substitution.’