Definition of free radical noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


free radical

BrE BrE//ˌfriː ˈrædɪkl//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌfriː ˈrædɪkl//
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an atom or group of atoms that has an electron that is not part of a pair, causing it to take part easily in chemical reactions. Free radicals in the body are thought to be one of the causes of diseases such as cancer. see also antioxidant (1)
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: free radical