AskDefine | Define lactam

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Any of a class of cyclic amides, that are the nitrogen analogs of lactones, formed by heating amino acids; the tautomeric enol forms are known as lactims.


cyclic amides, nitrogen analogs of lactones

Usage notes

Greek prefixes indicate the ring size e.g. α- 3-membered, β- 4-membered.

Extensive Definition

A lactam (the noun is a portmanteau of the words lactone + amide) is a cyclic amide. Prefixes may indicate the ring size: β-lactam (4-membered), γ-lactam (5-membered), δ-lactam (6-membered ring). That order in the nomenclature is because beta β, gamma γ and delta δ are the second, third and fourth letters in the alphabetical order of the Greek alphabet, respectively.


General synthetic methods exist for the organic synthesis of lactams.
  • Lactams form by copper catalyzed 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition of alkynes and nitrones in the Kinugasa reaction


See also


lactam in German: Lactame
lactam in French: Lactame
lactam in Hebrew: לקטם
lactam in Malay (macrolanguage): Laktam
lactam in Japanese: ラクタム
lactam in Polish: Laktamy
lactam in Portuguese: Lactama
lactam in Finnish: Laktaami
lactam in Swedish: Laktam
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