The property of nonidentity of an object with its mirror image; used in chemistry with respect to stereochemical isomers. [G. cheir, hand]

* * *

chi·ral·i·ty (ki-ralґĭ-te) [Gr. cheir hand] the property of handedness, of not being superimposable on a mirror image; the handedness of an asymmetric molecule, as specified by its optical rotation or absolute configuration. Cf. stereoisomerism.

Lactic acid, its tetracoordinate carbon atom bearing four different substituents, is not superimposable on its mirror image. Ethylene glycol, with two identical substituents on its tetracoordinate carbon, can be superimposed on its mirror image.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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