Also found in: Acronyms.
racemic compound[rə‚sēm·ik ′käm‚pau̇nd]
(also racemate), an optically inactive complex consisting of equimolar amounts of optical antipodes. The physical properties of a racemic compound differ from those of the constituent antipodes, and the synthesis of the compound from antipodes is accompanied by a release of heat. In a chemical synthesis in which a new asymmetric atom is formed, racemic compounds are usually obtained. Racemic compounds can be broken down into optically active antipodes by special methods (seeDIASTEREOISOMERS and ISOMERISM).