Polymer definition

pŏlə-mər
Frequency:
A naturally occurring or synthetic substance consisting of giant molecules formed from polymerization.
noun
6
1
Any of numerous natural and synthetic compounds of usually high molecular weight consisting of up to millions of repeated linked units, each a relatively light and simple molecule.
noun
6
2
Polymer is a substance made up of a large number of smaller molecules that link together to form larger molecules.

An example of a synthetic polymer is plastic.

An example of a natural polymer is rubber.

noun
3
0
(organic chemistry) A long or larger molecule consisting of a chain or network of many repeating units, formed by chemically bonding together many identical or similar small molecules called monomers. A polymer is formed by polymerization, the joining of many monomer molecules.
noun
0
0
A material consisting of such polymer molecules.
noun
0
0
Advertisement
Any of various chemical compounds made of smaller, identical molecules (called monomers) linked together. Some polymers, like cellulose, occur naturally, while others, like nylon, are artificial. Polymers have extremely high molecular weights, make up many of the tissues of organisms, and have extremely varied and versatile uses in industry, such as in making plastics, concrete, glass, and rubber. &diamf3; The process by which molecules are linked together to form polymers is called polymerization (pŏl&stress;ə-lĭm&stress;ər-ĭ-zā&STRESS;shən).
1
2

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
polymer
Plural:
polymers

Origin of polymer

  • Greek polumerēs consisting of many parts polu- poly- meros part (s)mer-2 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Ancient Greek πολύς (poly, “many") + μέρος (meros, “part"). Coined in 1833 by Jöns Jacob Berzelius, although his definition was quite different from ours.

    From Wiktionary