characterizing group

char·ac·ter·iz·ing group

a group of atoms in a molecule that distinguishes the class of substances in which it occurs from all other classes; thus, carbonyl (CO) is the characterizing group of ketones; COOH, of carboxylic acids, etc.

char·ac·ter·iz·ing group

(kar'ăk-tĕr-īz'ing grūp)
A group of atoms in a molecule that distinguishes the class of substances in which it occurs from all other classes; thus carbonyl (CO) is the characterizing group of ketones; COOH, of organic acids, among other examples.
References in periodicals archive ?
As dangerous as it is to generalize in characterizing groups, one comprised invited speakers, church insiders, if you will, for a gathering at The Catholic University; the other was a less formal gathering of "outsiders" brought together by Celibacy Is the Issue, a group that opposes the celibacy requirement and arranges for married priests to perform sacramental functions through its "rent-a-priest" program.