noun, often attributive
\ ˈpä-lē How to pronounce poly (audio) \
plural polys\ ˈpä-​lēz How to pronounce poly (audio) \

Definition of poly

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a polymerized plastic or something made of this especially : a polyester fiber, fabric, or garment



Definition of poly (Entry 2 of 3)

informal : polyamorous "Everybody up there's poly, you know? … You can love more than one person at a time."— Donald Harstad … when you're in a poly relationship, you have to have a higher baseline of communication – you have to deal with problems right away.— Heather Nicoll

Definition of poly- (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : many : several : much : multi- polychotomous polygyny
2a : containing an indefinite number more than one of a (specified) substance polysulfide
b : polymeric : polymer of a (specified) monomer polyethylene polyadenylic acid

Examples of poly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To read more about poly-working find our free white paper here. Jane Sparrow, Forbes, "Poly-Working: What Businesses Need To Know For Effective Working In 2021," 12 Apr. 2021 The bag comes in three materials (eco-friendly recycled poly, pre-washed cotton canvas, and organic cotton canvas), and each is available in a variety of soft, neutral colors. Travel + Leisure, "The 20 Best Duffel Bags for Travel, According to Reviews," 12 Mar. 2021 Tables and large, flat surfaces can handle a pour-over poly. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to DIY a Distressed Painted Look," 9 Mar. 2021 Masks and gaiters made from a higher thread count, and made of a blend of cotton and poly, can provide better blockage of respiratory droplets. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Why did I come in here?," 4 Mar. 2021 Once dry, liberally coat with teak oil or poly to seal the stain. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to Build a Bench for Any Season," 18 Aug. 2020 Leave overnight for the oil to seep in or the poly to cure. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to Build a Bench for Any Season," 18 Aug. 2020 Avocados are rich in mono- and poly-unsaturated fats — the healthy kinds that actually reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Stefani Sassos, Ms, Rdn, Cso, Good Housekeeping, "Are Avocados Good for You? Learn All About the Health Benefits of Your Favorite Fruit," 27 July 2020 The low-poly fantasy-forest world, and its repeating geometry and blue-green-purple aesthetic, blurred together in my two hours of play with little in the way of obvious landmarks to call out. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Crucible, Amazon’s new online shooter: Alexa, does this game have a chance?," 19 May 2020

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

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First Known Use of poly


1942, in the meaning defined above


1992, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for poly


short for polymer


by shortening

Combining form

Greek, from polys; akin to Old High German filu many, Sanskrit puru, Latin plenus full — more at full

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Statistics for poly

Last Updated

22 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Poly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poly. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for poly

English Language Learners Definition of poly-

: many



Kids Definition of poly-

: many : much : multi- polymer


\ ˈpäl-ē How to pronounce poly (audio) \
plural polys\ -​ēz How to pronounce poly (audio) \

Medical Definition of poly

: a polymorphonuclear leukocyte

More from Merriam-Webster on poly

Britannica English: Translation of poly for Arabic Speakers

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