microbead

noun
mi·​cro·​bead | \ ˈmī-krō-ˌbēd How to pronounce microbead (audio) \
plural microbeads

Definition of microbead

: a tiny sphere of plastic (such as polyethylene or polypropylene)

Note: Microbeads are used especially as exfoliants in facial scrubs and body washes and to add texture to other personal care products (such as toothpastes and lip balms).

The microscopic plastic microbeads found in many popular soaps and cleansers pose a real threat to both water and soil. These microbeads are not biodegradable. They are so tiny that they are able to pass right through the filters used to treat our wastewater.— Mariyana Spyropoulos, The Chicago Daily Herald, 23 June 2014

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of microbead

1975, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About microbead

Time Traveler for microbead

Time Traveler

The first known use of microbead was in 1975

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near microbead

microbe

microbead

microbeam

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for microbead

Cite this Entry

“Microbead.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/microbead. Accessed 28 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!