Definition of LEWIS THEORY


Lewis theory refers to the chemical theory proposed by American chemist Gilbert N. Lewis in the early 20th century. It primarily deals with the concept of chemical bonding and the interaction between atoms to form molecules. Lewis theory provides a foundational framework for understanding the sharing and transfer of electrons between atoms, leading to the formation of covalent and ionic bonds.

Electron Pair Concept: At the core of Lewis theory is the electron pair concept, which posits that chemical bonding involves the sharing or transfer of electron pairs between atoms. According to Lewis, atoms tend to achieve a stable electron configuration, similar to the noble gases, by either gaining, losing, or sharing electrons. This concept revolutionized our understanding of chemical bonding and paved the way for advancements in molecular chemistry and materials science.

Covalent Bonding: Lewis theory elucidates the formation of covalent bonds, where atoms share electron pairs to achieve a stable configuration. The sharing of electrons creates a bond between atoms, resulting in the formation of molecules with distinct chemical properties. By representing electron pairs as dots or lines in Lewis structures, chemists can visualize and predict the behavior of molecules, including their shape, polarity, and reactivity.

Ionic Bonding: In addition to covalent bonding, Lewis theory explains the formation of ionic bonds, where atoms transfer electrons to achieve a stable configuration. In ionic compounds, such as salts, one atom loses electrons (cation) while another gains electrons (anion), resulting in the formation of positively and negatively charged ions that attract each other electrostatically. This transfer of electrons leads to the formation of solid structures with high melting points and conductivity properties.

Lewis Structures: A key tool in Lewis theory is the use of Lewis structures to represent the arrangement of atoms and electrons in molecules. By following the octet rule, which states that atoms tend to gain, lose, or share electrons to attain a stable configuration with eight valence electrons, chemists can construct Lewis structures to predict molecular geometry and chemical behavior. Lewis structures provide valuable insights into the bonding patterns and properties of a wide range of compounds.

Applications and Impact: Lewis theory has profound implications across various fields of chemistry, including organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and biochemistry. It underpins our understanding of molecular structure, chemical reactivity, and the design of new materials and compounds. Moreover, Lewis theory serves as a cornerstone for other theories, such as valence bond theory and molecular orbital theory, further enriching our comprehension of chemical phenomena at the atomic level.

In conclusion, Lewis theory represents a fundamental pillar of modern chemistry, providing a conceptual framework for understanding chemical bonding and molecular structure. By elucidating the role of electron pairs in forming bonds between atoms, Lewis theory has revolutionized our approach to studying and manipulating matter at the molecular level, with far-reaching implications for science, technology, and society.

Examples of LEWIS THEORY in a sentence

  • The Lewis theory of acids and bases proposes that acids are electron pair acceptors and bases are electron pair donors.
  • Lewis theory is a fundamental concept in chemistry, particularly in the study of chemical bonding.
  • According to Lewis theory, molecules with unpaired electrons can act as radicals.
  • Lewis theory provides a framework for understanding the behavior of molecules in chemical reactions.
  • The concept of valence electrons is central to Lewis theory.
  • Lewis theory helps explain the formation of covalent bonds between atoms.
  • The development of Lewis theory revolutionized our understanding of chemical structure and reactivity.
  • Lewis theory has practical applications in fields such as organic chemistry and biochemistry.


The term Lewis theory is named after the American chemist Gilbert N. Lewis, who developed it in the early 20th century. Here’s a breakdown of its etymology:

  • Surname “Lewis”: The term “Lewis” originates from the surname of Gilbert N. Lewis, the scientist who proposed the theory. Gilbert N. Lewis was a pioneering chemist known for his groundbreaking contributions to the field of chemical bonding and electron pair theory.
  • Theory: The term “theory” in this context refers to a scientific principle or explanation that is based on observation, experimentation, and analysis. In chemistry, a theory provides a framework for understanding and predicting the behavior of atoms, molecules, and chemical reactions.
  • Development by Gilbert N. Lewis: Gilbert N. Lewis formulated his theory of chemical bonding in a series of papers published in the early 20th century. His theory proposed that chemical bonds are formed by the sharing or transfer of electron pairs between atoms, leading to the formation of stable molecules and compounds.

Overall, the etymology of Lewis theory highlights its association with the pioneering chemist Gilbert N. Lewis and his groundbreaking contributions to the field of chemistry, particularly in the study of chemical bonding and molecular structure.


  • Electron pair theory
  • Lewis electron dot theory
  • Lewis structure theory
  • Lewis bond theory
  • Lewis electron pair theory
  • Electron sharing theory
  • Lewis acid-base theory
  • Electron transfer theory


  • Valence shell electron pair repulsion (VSEPR) theory
  • Molecular orbital theory
  • Crystal field theory
  • Ligand field theory
  • Hybridization theory
  • Molecular structure theory
  • Quantum chemistry theory


  1. Acid
  2. Base
  3. Electron pair
  4. Coordination complex
  5. Chemical bonding
  6. Formal charge
  7. Electron donation
  8. Electron acceptance

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