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Chemistry: A Guide to Non-Library Web Resources: Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Abbreviations of Chemical Compounds

Enter an abbreviation [DMSO] & receive the full name of the compound [dimethyl sulfoxide].

Beilstein Dictionary

Hosted by Swain Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Library at Stanford University, the Beilstein Dictionary is a German-English, English-German chemistry dictionary. It contains "about 2,100 entries, including most German words occurring in the Beilstein Handbook, as well as common abbreviations."


A file of over 339,000 compounds of biomedical & regulatory interest; records include CAS Registry Numbers & other identifying numbers, molecular formula, generic names, trivial names, other synonyms, MeSH headings, & file locators which lead users to other files.

Chemistry Dictionaries

From Babylon Ltd., Chemistry Dictionaries provide definitions of chemistry terms from one or more dictionaries. Enter a term and receive definitions from several dictionaries.

Chemistry Dictionary for Word Processors

This resource is a chemistry dictionary that can be downloaded and used with Microsoft Office (Windows or Mac) or Open Office (Windows or Linux). It contains approximately 104,000 words, and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Electrochemical Dictionary

Hosted by the Ernest B. Yeager Center for Electrochemistry at Case Western Reserve University, this dictionary contains over 800 terms. The definitions are concise and there are numerous cross references.

Encyclopedia of Analytical Instrumentation

Introductions to methods of instrumental analysis, including thermal, optical, chromatographic, and electrochemical methods as well as spectroscopy/spectrometry.

Eric's Weisstein's World of Chemistry

This online encyclopedia of chemistry contains nearly 500 entries. It's searchable and browsable.

Glossary of Terms Used in Photochemistry (3rd edition)

Issued as an IUPAC Recommendation in Pure and Applied Chemistry, this dictionary contains terms with concise definations used in photochemistry.  The glossary is available in PDF format.  There are no search capabilities.

IUPAC Compendium of Chemical Terminology

Also know as the Gold book, the IUPAC Compendium of Chemical Terminology is compiled by international committees of experts, and is ratified by IUPAC's Interdivisional Committee on Nomenclature and Symbols. It contains over 6,500 entries from primary specifications. The 1997 edition of the Gold Book is available for download.

IUPAC World Wide Web Material

Contains several IUPAC glossaries & nomenclature recommendations.

Medicinal Plants of the World: Chemical Constituents, Traditional, and Modern Medicinal UsesAccessible to University at Albany users only

This encyclopedic work covers the medicinal uses for plants from around the world. It includes illustrations and descriptions of each plant, all of which are cross-referenced. It also contains the plant's chemical constituents and usage.

Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary

Merriam-Webster contains definitions of more than 59,000 medical terms. The dictionary may be searched or browsed, and links to additional information on other health and medical Web sites are also provided.

Oxford Reference Online: Science and TechnologyAccessible to University at Albany users only

Oxford Reference Online provides access to several chemistry resources. They may be searched together at the link above or separately at the links below:

Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Database

Database of plants, their chemicals, and their effects. Includes an ethnobotanical dictionary.


Proteopedia is a wiki-based resource containing information about protein, RNA, DNA, and other macromolecules.  It can be accessed using a table of contents, a structure index, or a search engine.


Subject Guide

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Kathleen Flynn
Science Library, SL-142
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