chemical bond
When forces acting between two atoms or groups of atoms lead to the formation of a stable independent molecular entity, a chemical bond is considered to exist between these atoms or groups. The principal characteristic of a bond in a molecule is the existence of a region between the nuclei of constant potential contours that allows the potential energy to improve substantially by atomic contraction at the expense of only a small increase in kinetic energy. Not only directed covalent bonds characteristic of organic compounds, but also bonds such as those existing between sodium cations and chloride anions in a crystal of sodium chloride or the bonds binding aluminium to six molecules of water in its environment, and even weak bonds that link two molecules of O2 into O4, are to be attributed to chemical bonds.
PAC, 1999, 71, 1919 (Glossary of terms used in theoretical organic chemistry) on page 1930