1. RCH(OH)OR′, a product of the addition of an alcohol to an aldehyde (an acetal is formed by the addition of an alcohol to a hemiacetal). In the aldose sugars, the hemiacetal formation is internal and labile, brought about by the 4-OH or 5-OH attack on the carbonyl oxygen, thus yielding the furanose or pyranose structures; the hemiacetal forms of the sugars are involved in all polysaccharides, as glycosyl residues or glycosides.
The definition information for hemiacetal is provided by Stedman's. You can search our medical dictionary here.