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semisystematic name

Pronunciation: sem'e-sis'te-mat'ik nam

Definition: A name of a chemical of which at least one part is systematic and at least one part is not (is trivial). For example, calciferol includes the -ol suffix denoting an —OH radical, whereas calcifer-, which has no systematic meaning, is used only in this word. Cortisone contains the -one suffix, indicating a ketone group, but the rest of the term derives from cortex (adrenal). Hippuric acid (trivial name) may be defined as N-benzoylglycine (semitrivial name); benzoyl is systematic for the C6H5–CO– radical, whereas glycine is the trivial name for a-aminoacetic (or 2-aminoethanoic, to be completely systematic) acid, and the N signifies that the benzoyl is attached to the nitrogen of glycine; from this, the structure C6H5–CO–NH–CH2–COOH is uniquely defined. Many generic and nonproprietary names of drugs, including USAN names and hormones are semitrivial in this chemical sense; although often termed trivial names, the distinction between trivial and semitrivial is not often made.

Synonym(s): semitrivial name

Further information

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.