noun, often attributive
\ˈpä-lē \
plural polys\ ˈpä-​lēz \

Definition of poly 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

Definition of poly- (Entry 2 of 2)

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

The only way to transform from roly poly to svelte and strong is through a combination of healthy eating and exercise. Philly.com, "3 common fitness 'tips' to ignore," 17 Apr. 2018 That’s what this poly-cotton tank brings to the party. Graham Averill, Outside Online, "The Best Budget Tank Tops for Men," 19 June 2018 Stars of the park include the big cats (bobcats, lynx, and cougar), roly-poly black bears, and moose that munch all manner of browse, unperturbed by squealing youngsters. Patricia Harris And David Lyon, BostonGlobe.com, "Goin’ up the country: The rustic appeal of Maine’s Route 26," 21 June 2018 Thirty-one feet long, it is woven of a special poly-grass fiber that doesn’t stretch. Melissa Lyttle, Smithsonian, "The First Family of Rodeo," 13 Dec. 2017 Plenty of Vitale’s images revel in the adorableness of the tiny floofs—their roly-poly nature, their jet-black ear fluffs and their expressive black eye patches. Maya Wei-haas, Smithsonian, "Why Photographing Pandas Is More Challenging Than You Might Think," 21 May 2018 Know that no one understands the difference between a 3-pronged poly folder, available in multiple colors, and a 3-pronged plastic folder, available in multiple colors. Ginger D. Rough, USA TODAY, "Parents: Stop complaining about your kids' school supply list," 15 May 2018 SCOTTeVEST Technology-Enabled Zippered Hoodie in black, cobalt, ash, maroon, or navy cotton/poly blend is $95; black microfleece version is $100; at www.scottevest.com. Judi Dash, Philly.com, "Gadget Guru: SCOTTeVEST Technology-Enabled Zippered Hoodie," 18 Apr. 2018 What only moments ago was just a roly poly little noise monster now was all sweat and muscle and grief and body odor. David Frese, kansascity, "The last graduation, the last game, the last prom. Parents, are you ready for it? | The Kansas City Star," 27 Apr. 2018

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

History and Etymology for poly


short for polymer

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

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for poly

The first known use of poly was in 1942

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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 \
plural polys\ -​ēz \

Medical Definition of poly 

: a polymorphonuclear leukocyte

More from Merriam-Webster on poly

See words that rhyme with poly

Britannica English: Translation of poly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on poly

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


playful or foolish behavior

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