AskDefine | Define ketone

Dictionary Definition

ketone n : any of a class of organic compounds having a carbonyl group linked to a carbon atom in each of two hydrocarbon radicals

User Contributed Dictionary



From keton < Aketon < acétone. See acetone.


  1. A homologous series of organic molecules whose functional group is an oxygen atom joined to a carbon atom—by a double bond—in a carbon-hydrogen based molecule.

Derived terms

Related terms


organic chemicals with the >CO functional group
  • French: cétone
  • Italian: chetone
  • Russian: кетон
  • Spanish: cetona, quetona
  • Swedish: keton
  • Vietnamese: xeton


Extensive Definition

A ketone (pronounced as key tone) is either the functional group characterized by a carbonyl group (O=C) linked to two other carbon atoms or a chemical compound that contains a carbonyl group. A ketone can be generally represented by the chemical formula:
A carbonyl carbon bonded to two carbon atoms distinguishes ketones from carboxylic acids, aldehydes, esters, amides, and other oxygen-containing compounds. The double-bond of the carbonyl group distinguishes ketones from alcohols and ethers. The simplest ketone is acetone (systematically named propan-2-one).
The carbon atom adjacent to a carbonyl group is called the α-carbon. Hydrogens attached to this carbon are called α-hydrogens. In the presence of an acid catalyst the ketone is subjected to so-called keto-enol tautomerism. The reaction with a strong base gives the corresponding enolate. A diketone is a compound containing two ketone groups.



Acetone, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate are ketones (or ketone bodies) generated from carbohydrates, fatty acids and amino acids in humans and most vertebrates. Ketones are elevated in blood after fasting including a night of sleep, and in both blood and urine in starvation, hypoglycemia due to causes other than hyperinsulinism, various inborn errors of metabolism, and ketoacidosis (usually due to diabetes mellitus). Although ketoacidosis is characteristic of decompensated or untreated type 1 diabetes, ketosis or even ketoacidosis can occur in type 2 diabetes in some circumstances as well. Acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate are an important fuel for many tissues, especially during fasting and starvation. The brain, in particular, relies heavily on ketone bodies as a substrate for lipid synthesis and for energy during times of reduced food intake. At the NIH, Dr. Richard Veech refers to ketones as "magic" in their ability to increase metabolic efficiency, while decreasing production of free radicals, the damaging byproducts of normal metabolism. His work has shown that ketone bodies may treat neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, and the heart and brain operate 25% more efficiently using ketones as a source of energy.


Ketones are often used in perfumes and paints to stabilize the other ingredients so that they don't degrade as quickly over time. Other uses are as solvents and intermediates in chemical industry. Examples of ketones are acetone, acetophenone, and methyl ethyl ketone.

See also


ketone in Arabic: كيتون
ketone in Bulgarian: Кетон
ketone in Catalan: Cetona
ketone in Czech: Ketony
ketone in Danish: Keton
ketone in German: Ketone
ketone in Estonian: Ketoonid
ketone in Spanish: Cetona (química)
ketone in Esperanto: Ketono
ketone in Persian: کتون
ketone in French: Cétone
ketone in Korean: 케톤
ketone in Croatian: Keton
ketone in Italian: Chetoni
ketone in Hebrew: קטון
ketone in Latin: Ketonum
ketone in Latvian: Ketoni
ketone in Lithuanian: Ketonai
ketone in Hungarian: Keton
ketone in Macedonian: Кетон
ketone in Malay (macrolanguage): Keton
ketone in Dutch: Keton
ketone in Japanese: ケトン
ketone in Norwegian: Keton
ketone in Polish: Ketony
ketone in Portuguese: Cetona
ketone in Romanian: Cetonă
ketone in Russian: Кетоны
ketone in Slovak: Ketón
ketone in Serbian: Кетон
ketone in Finnish: Ketoni
ketone in Swedish: Keton
ketone in Turkish: Keton
ketone in Chinese: 酮
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