noun \ˌpä-lē-ˈyr-ə-ˌthān\

: a type of plastic that is used to make various products and especially to make a clear liquid that is spread on a surface (such as a wooden floor) and that becomes hard when it dries

Full Definition of POLYURETHANE

:  any of various polymers that contain NHCOO linkages and are used especially in flexible and rigid foams, elastomers, and resins (as for coatings)


  1. The floor will need two coats of polyurethane.


International Scientific Vocabulary
First Known Use: 1944


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of a class of very versatile polymers that are made into flexible and rigid foams, fibres, elastomers (elastic polymers), surface coatings, and adhesives. They are produced by reacting a diisocyanate (a compound with two functional groups of the type —NCO) with a diol (a compound with two hydroxyl, or —OH, groups). Foamed polyurethanes, used for insulation and mattress and upholstery filler, are made with organic compounds containing carboxyl groups, causing a reaction that liberates carbon dioxide bubbles throughout the product. Spandex fibres are highly elastic and have replaced natural and synthetic rubber fibres for many textile purposes. Polyurethane elastomers are made into auto parts, rollers, flexible molds, medical equipment, and shoe soles. Polyurethane surface coatings are applied as sealants to wood, concrete, and machine parts and as linings for tanks and pipes; moisture-curing polyurethane resin is used as a general-purpose waterproof glue.


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