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The three-dimensional arrangement of an organic molecule that is caused by:

  • double bonds that prevent free rotation, or
  • chiral centers that have side groups arranged around them in a particular order.
  • A configurational isomer can't be turned into another configuration without breaking covalent bonds.

    From the BioTech Dictionary at http://biotech.icmb.utexas.edu/. For further information see the BioTech homenode.