Definitions for cis–trans isomerism

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  1. Cis–trans isomerism

    In organic chemistry, cis/trans isomerism is a form of stereoisomerism describing the relative orientation of functional groups within a molecule. It is not to be confused with E/Z isomerism which are related absolute stereochemical descriptors, only to be used with alkenes. In general, such isomers contain double bonds, which cannot rotate, but they can also arise from ring structures, wherein the rotation of bonds is greatly restricted. Cis and trans isomers occur both in organic molecules and in inorganic coordination complexes. The terms cis and trans are from Latin, in which cis means "on the same side" and trans means "on the other side" or "across". The term "geometric isomerism" is considered an obsolete synonym of "cis/trans isomerism" by IUPAC. It is sometimes used as a synonym for general stereoisomerism; the correct term for non-optical stereoisomerism is diastereomerism.

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