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characteristic group

in organic nomenclature
A single heteroatom, for example, –Cl and =O; a heteroatom bearing one or more hydrogen atoms or other heteroatoms, for example, –NH2, –OH, –SO3H, –PO3H2 and IO2 ; or a heteroatomic group attached to or containing a single carbon atom, for example, –CHO, –C≡N, –COOH and –NCO , attached to a parent hydride.
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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: (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8.
Last update: 2014-02-24; version: 2.3.3.
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