Definition of Electrophile

An electrophile is a chemical species that is deficient in electrons. It has a high affinity for electrons. It forms bonds by accepting a pair of electrons from another chemical species that is called a nucleophile which is known to be an electron donor. Due to their nature of accepting electrons, they are called Lewis acids.


They have an atom that has an incomplete octet and most of the electrophiles, hence carry a positive charge. The interaction between an electrophile and a nucleophile is brought by substitution and addition reactions. Examples of electrophiles include cations such as H+, NO+, polarized molecules, carbonyl compounds, etc.

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