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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Monosaccharide \Mon`o*sac"cha*ride\, n. Also -rid \-rid\ . [Mono- + saccharide.] (Chem.) A simple sugar; any of a number of sugars (including the trioses, tetroses, pentoses, hexoses, etc.), not decomposable into simpler sugars by hydrolysis. Specif., as used by some, a hexose. The monosaccharides are all open-chain compounds containing hydroxyl groups and either an aldehyde group or a ketone group.


n. (context carbohydrate English) A simple sugar such as glucose, fructose or deoxyribose that has a single ring.


n. a sugar (like sucrose or fructose) that does not hydrolyse to give other sugars; the simplest group of carbohydrates [syn: monosaccharose, simple sugar]


Monosaccharides (from Greek monos: single, sacchar: sugar), also called simple sugars, are the most basic units of carbohydrates. They are fundamental units of carbohydrates and cannot be further hydrolised to simpler compounds. The general formula is . They are the simplest form of sugar and are usually colorless, water- soluble, and crystalline solids. Some monosaccharides have a sweet taste. Examples of monosaccharides include glucose (dextrose), fructose (levulose) and galactose. Monosaccharides are the building blocks of disaccharides (such as sucrose and lactose) and polysaccharides (such as cellulose and starch). Further, each carbon atom that supports a hydroxyl group (so, all of the carbons except for the primary and terminal carbon) is chiral, giving rise to a number of isomeric forms, all with the same chemical formula. For instance, galactose and glucose are both aldohexoses, but have different physical structures and chemical properties.