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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


molecular weight  listen  (muh-LEH-kyoo-ler wayt)

  The sum of the atomic masses of all atoms in a molecule, based on a scale in which the atomic masses of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen are 1, 12, 14, and 16, respectively. For example, the molecular weight of water, which has two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, is 18 (i.e., 2 + 16). Also called molecular mass.