What Is the Difference Between a Molecule and a Compound?

Every compound is a molecule, but not every molecule is a compound

This is the three-dimensional structure for ozone, which consists of three oxygen atoms bonded together. Ozone is a molecule, but not a compound.
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A molecule is formed when two or more atoms of an element chemically join together. And a compound is a type of molecule, in which the types of atoms forming the molecule are different from each other.

Not all molecules are compounds, because some molecules, such as hydrogen gas or ozone, consist only of one element, of only one type of atom.

Molecule Examples

Some examples of molecules include:

Compound Examples

Some examples of compounds include:

  • Salt: NaCl
  • Water: H2O
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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "What Is the Difference Between a Molecule and a Compound?" ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/difference-between-molecule-and-compound-608511. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 26). What Is the Difference Between a Molecule and a Compound? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/difference-between-molecule-and-compound-608511 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "What Is the Difference Between a Molecule and a Compound?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/difference-between-molecule-and-compound-608511 (accessed September 25, 2021).