Illustrated Glossary of Organic Chemistry

Hydrophobic (lipophilic): A molecule or part of a molecule with low polarity, usually characterized by few (if any) polar bonds and/or hydrogen bond acceptors and/or hydrogen bond donors. From Greek hydro (water) and phobos (fearing). Interchangeable with lipophilic, from Greek lipos (fat) and philia (bonding).

Some Common Hydrophobic Molecules



An aliphatic hydrocarbon

A nonpolar alcohol

Glycerol tristearate
A triglyceride