Molecular entity
According to the IUPAC Gold Book a molecular entity is "any constitutionally or isotopically distinct atom
The atom is a basic unit of matter that consists of a dense central nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. The atomic nucleus contains a mix of positively charged protons and electrically neutral neutrons...

, molecule
A molecule is an electrically neutral group of at least two atoms held together by covalent chemical bonds. Molecules are distinguished from ions by their electrical charge...

, ion
An ion is an atom or molecule in which the total number of electrons is not equal to the total number of protons, giving it a net positive or negative electrical charge. The name was given by physicist Michael Faraday for the substances that allow a current to pass between electrodes in a...

, ion pair, radical
Radical (chemistry)
Radicals are atoms, molecules, or ions with unpaired electrons on an open shell configuration. Free radicals may have positive, negative, or zero charge...

, radical ion, complex
Complex (chemistry)
In chemistry, a coordination complex or metal complex, is an atom or ion , bonded to a surrounding array of molecules or anions, that are in turn known as ligands or complexing agents...

, conformer, etc., identifiable as a separately distinguishable entity".

Molecular entity is used as a general term for any singular entity, irrespective of its nature, in order to concisely express any type of chemical particle that can exemplify some process: for example, atoms, molecules, ions, etc. can all undergo a chemical reaction
Chemical reaction
A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Chemical reactions can be either spontaneous, requiring no input of energy, or non-spontaneous, typically following the input of some type of energy, such as heat, light or electricity...


Chemical species
Chemical species
Chemical species are atoms, molecules, molecular fragments, ions, etc., being subjected to a chemical process or to a measurement. Generally, a chemical species can be defined as an ensemble of chemically identical molecular entities that can explore the same set of molecular energy levels on a...

 is the macroscopic equivalent of molecular entity and refers to sets or ensembles of molecular entities.

Again from IUPAC: "The degree of precision necessary to describe a molecular entity depends on the context. For example 'hydrogen molecule' is an adequate definition of a certain molecular entity for some purposes, whereas for others it is necessary to distinguish the electronic state
Electronic state
Electronic state is a quantum state of a system consisting of electrons . The state with lowest energy is called ground state, states with higher energy are excited states.See Energy level....

 and/or vibrational state
Molecular vibration
A molecular vibration occurs when atoms in a molecule are in periodic motion while the molecule as a whole has constant translational and rotational motion...

 and/or nuclear spin, etc. of the hydrogen molecule."
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