An electron-counting rule to which an overwhelming majority of stable diamagnetic transition metal complexes adhere. The number of nonbonded electrons at the metal plus the number of electrons in the metal-ligand bonds should be 18. The 18 electron rule in transition metal chemistry is a full analogue of the 'Lewis octet rule'.
PAC, 1994, 66, 1077. 'Glossary of terms used in physical organic chemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1994)' on page 1108 (https://doi.org/10.1351/pac199466051077)