functional group

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func·tion (f),

1. The special action or physiologic property of an organ or other part of the body.
2. To perform its special work or office, said of an organ or other part of the body.
3. The general properties of any substance, depending on its chemical character and relation to other substances, according to which it may be grouped (for example, acids, bases, alcohols, esters).
4. A particular reactive grouping in a molecule, for example, a functional group, such as the -OH group of an alcohol.
5. A quality, trait, or fact that is so related to another as to be dependent on and to vary with this other.
6. A mathematic variable or expression.
[L. functio, fr. fungor, pp. functus, to perform]

functional group (funkˑ·shl grōōpˑ),

n an atom or group of atoms of a molecule that is chemically reactive and imparts the chemical characteristics of a molecule. Alkenes, aldehydes, alcohols, carboxylic acids, ketones, and esters are common functional groups.
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