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Meaning of quaternary ammonium compound

quat'ernary ammo'nium com"pound

Pronunciation: [key]
— Chem. Chem.
  1. any of a class of salts derived from ammonium in which the nitrogen atom is attached to four organic groups, as in benzalkonium chloride; the salts are cationic surface-active compounds used as antiseptics and disinfectants. Also called
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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