Moiety (chemistry)

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See also: functional group.

Benzyl acetate has an ester functional group (in red), an acetyl moiety (circled with dark green) and a benzyloxy moiety (circled with light orange). Other divisions can be made.

In organic chemistry, a moiety (/ˈmɔɪəti/) is a part of a molecule[1][2] which is typically given a name as it can be found within other kinds of molecules as well. For instance, the acetyl moiety is a component of many organic compounds, including acetic acid, acetylcholine, acetyl-CoA, acetylcysteine, acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol), and acetylsalicylic acid (better known as aspirin).

A functional group is a moiety that participates in similar chemical reactions in most molecules that contain it.[3]

Moieties and functional groups may contain smaller moieties, or be contained in a larger moiety. For example, methyl p-hydroxybenzoate contains a phenol functional group within the acyl moiety, which in turn is part of the paraben moiety. Larger moieties are often functional groups.[4]

Moieties that constitute branches extending from the backbone of a hydrocarbon molecule, which can often be broken off and substituted with others, are called substituents or side chains.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "moiety". IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology (the "Gold Book") (2 ed.). disco Scientific Publications. 2014-02-24. doi:10.1351/goldbook.M03968. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. 
  2. ^ "Illustrated Glossary of Organic Chemistry - Moiety". Retrieved 2017-04-22. 
  3. ^ "functional group". IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology (the "Gold Book") (2 ed.). Blackwell Scientific Publications. 2014-02-24. doi:10.1351/goldbook.F02555. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. 
  4. ^ Mezey, P. G. (October 1996). "Functional Groups in Quantum Chemistry". Advances in Quantum Chemistry. 27: 165. ISBN 978-0-08-058252-8.