An electrically charged molecular moiety
which may dissociate to form fragments, one or more of which may be electrically charged, and one or more neutral species. A parent ion may be a molecular ion or an electrically charged fragment of a molecular ion.
PAC, 1991, 63, 1541
(Recommendations for nomenclature and symbolism for mass spectroscopy (including an appendix of terms used in vacuum technology). (Recommendations 1991))
on page 1549
IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook