- trivial name
- A name of a chemical, no part of which is necessarily used in a systematic sense; i.e., it gives little or no indication as to chemical structure. Such names are common for drugs, hormones, proteins, and other biologicals, and are used by the general public. They may not be officially sanctioned, in contrast to nonproprietary name s, but may be adopted as official nonproprietary name s as a result of widespread usage. Examples are water, aspirin, chlorophyll, heme, methotrexate, folic acid, caffeine, thyroxine, epinephrine, barbital, etc.; also common abbreviations for chemically defined substances, such as ACTH, MSH, BAL, DDT, which are spoken as such and not in terms of the words they represent. The distinction between trivial and semitrivial name s is seldom made; thus tetrahydrofolate, methylglycine, glucosamine, etc., are often termed trivial even though each contains a systematic part that is used in the correct systematic sense (tetrahydro for four hydrogen atoms, methyl for a –CH3 group, amine for –NH2 in the above examples). Trivial names are often assigned arbitrarily to chemical compounds, especially from natural sources, before the chemical structures, hence systematic name s can be assigned. Also, they afford useful shortenings of long systematic name s even when these can be stated (although most such shortenings turn out to be semisystematic, as they incorporate some portion of the systematic name).
* * *triv·i·al name 'triv-ē-əl- n1) SPECIFIC EPITHET2) a common or vernacular name of an organism or chemical
* * *in chemical nomenclature, a name of a substance that does not reflect its chemical structure; many trivial names are semisystematic, e.g., the -ol in glycerol indicates that it is an alcohol.
Medical dictionary. 2011.