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cyclic compound

cyclic compound, any one of a class of compounds whose molecules contain a number of atoms bonded together to form a closed chain or ring. If all of the atoms that form the ring are carbon, the compound is said to be carbocyclic if not, the compound is called heterocyclic. Cyclohexane and benzene are homocyclic hydrocarbons furfural is heterocyclic, as is pyridine. A cyclic compound that behaves chemically like the open-chain aliphatic compounds is said to be alicyclic cyclohexane is such a compound. Many cyclic compounds exhibit the special properties characteristic of the aromatic compounds.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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