microplastic

noun
mi·​cro·​plas·​tic | \ ˌmī-krō-ˈpla-stik How to pronounce microplastic (audio) \
plural microplastics

Definition of microplastic

: a very small fragment or piece of plastic specifically : a piece of plastic that is five millimeters or smaller in size usually plural Indeed, a handful of sand or cup of seawater from nearly anywhere in the world will probably be peppered with microplastics—pieces that are tinier than a small pea and often invisible. — Jennifer Ackerman… the Mariana Trench contains the highest levels of microplastics (most likely from clothing, bottles, packaging and fishing gear) yet found in the open ocean, offering irrefutable proof that plastics have penetrated even the most remote places on the planet. — Rina Li

Other Words from microplastic

microplastic adjective
microplastic pollution microplastic debris

First Known Use of microplastic

1990, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about microplastic

Time Traveler for microplastic

Time Traveler

The first known use of microplastic was in 1990

See more words from the same year

Statistics for microplastic

Cite this Entry

“Microplastic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/microplastic. Accessed 22 Sep. 2020.

Comments on microplastic

What made you want to look up microplastic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!