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One of three types of materials that compose living cells. The other two types are carbohydrates and proteins. Lipids are organic substances such as fats, oils, waxes, sterols and triglycerides, that are insoluble in water but soluble in common organic solvents. Lipids are also oily to the touch. The structure of lipids range from simple straight chain hydrocarbon to complex ring structures. They can be subdivided as: 1) fatty acids, 2) neutral fats, 3) phospholipids, 4) glycolipids, 5) aliphatic alcohols and waxes 6) terpenes and 7) steroids.

Synonyms and Related Terms

lipoid; lipids (pl.); lpido (Esp.); lipide (Fr.); lipidi (It)

Other Properties

Soluble in chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, benzene, ether, carbon disulfide and ligroin.Insoluble in water.

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Richard S. Lewis, Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998