1. A combining form signifying straight, right, upright, correct, regular; as, orthodromy, orthodiagonal, orthodox, orthographic.

2. <chemistry> Connection with, or affinity to, one variety of isomerism, characteristic of the benzene compounds; contrasted with meta- or para-; as, the ortho position; hence, designating any substance showing such isomerism; as, an ortho compound.

In the graphic representation of the benzene nucleus (see Benzene nucleus, under Benzene), provisionally adopted, any substance exhibiting double substitution in adjacent and contiguous carbon atoms, as 1 & 2, 3 & 4, 4 & 5, etc, is designated by ortho-; as, orthoxylene; any substance exhibiting substitution of two carbon atoms with one intervening, as 1 & 3, 2 & 4, 3 & 5, 4 & 6, etc, by meta-; as, resorcin or metaxylene; any substance exhibiting substitution in opposite parts, as 1 & 4, 2 & 5, 3 & 6, by para-; as, hydroquinone or paraxylene.

Origin: Gr. Straight; akin to Skr. Rdhva upright, vrdh to grow, to cause to grow.

(29 Oct 1998)

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