plas·​ti·​ciz·​er | \ ˈpla-stə-ˌsī-zər How to pronounce plasticizer (audio) \

Definition of plasticizer

: one that plasticizes specifically : a chemical added especially to rubbers and resins to impart flexibility, workability, or stretchability

Examples of plasticizer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Plastics are held together with chemicals called plasticizers, and experts have expressed great concern about two: bisphenol-A (known as BPA) and phthalates. Tabor Wordelman, Teen Vogue, "These Are the Ways Plastics Can Mess Up Your Body," 19 Dec. 2018 These common plasticizers, used some nail polishes to increase flexibility and in some shampoos and cleansers to carry fragrance, are controversial because of a possible link to disruption of the human endocrine system. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 The organisms had high levels of persistent organic pollutants, like PCBs and PBDE’s, chemicals used in industrial manufacturing as plasticizers, coolants and flame retardants. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Even the Deepest Parts of the Ocean Are Polluted With Startling Amounts of Plastic," 11 May 2018 So the combination of plasticizers and dirty bath water creates almost a buffet for the bacteria to enjoy. Doug Criss, CNN, "The inside of rubber duckies are full of bacteria. You don't seem surprised," 29 Mar. 2018 Many are leaving out plasticizers, phthalates, formaldehyde, chlorine, halogen and heavy metals. Clare Miers, star-telegram, "Wallpaper is back! Here, local design experts talk the trends and share their picks | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 15 Mar. 2018 Independent research on beads collected from New Orleans parades has found toxic levels of lead, bromine, arsenic, phthalate plasticizers, halogens, cadmium, chromium, mercury and chlorine on and inside the beads. David Redmon, Smithsonian, "The Toxic Truth Behind Mardi Gras Beads," 8 Mar. 2017 They were produced from the 1920s to the 1970s and used in a range of industrial applications, including as pigments in paint and dyes, plasticizers in plastics and rubber, and components in electrical equipment. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "U.K. Killer Whale Contained Staggering Levels of Toxic Chemical," 4 May 2017 Some chemicals of concern include estrogens from birth control pills, the plasticizer bisphenol A, and the herbicide atrazine. National Geographic, "Why Are These Male Fish Growing Eggs?," 3 Feb. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plasticizer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of plasticizer

1925, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plasticizer

Statistics for plasticizer

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plasticizer

The first known use of plasticizer was in 1925

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for plasticizer


variants: or British plasticiser \ ˈplas-​tə-​ˌsī-​zər How to pronounce plasticiser (audio) \

Medical Definition of plasticizer

: a chemical added especially to rubbers and resins to impart flexibility, workability, or stretchability

More from Merriam-Webster on plasticizer Encyclopedia article about plasticizer

Comments on plasticizer

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


a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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