poly·​cy·​clic | \ ˌpä-lē-ˈsī-klik How to pronounce polycyclic (audio) , -ˈsi- How to pronounce polycyclic (audio) \

Definition of polycyclic

: having more than one cyclic component especially : having two or more rings in the molecule

Examples of polycyclic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Grilling meat of any kind leads to the formation of two separate families of cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens): the heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 7 Dec. 2021 The operations also pump out nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, traces of which have been detected by scientists in soils and snowpack dozens of miles away. NBC News, 22 Nov. 2021 Hazardous chemicals like dioxins, furans, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, can have serious and differing impacts on health, but right now they are collectively categorised as particulate matter. Ishan Kukreti, Quartz, 5 Nov. 2021 Of particular concern was a smaller class of particle pollution known as PAHs, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Lulu Ramadan, ProPublica, 22 Aug. 2021 Both synthetic nitro musks and polycyclic musk compounds are harmful to people and the planet. John Cumbers, Forbes, 12 May 2021 Other harmful substances, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, can enter ecosystems by sticking to drifting plastic. Tania Rabesandratana, Science | AAAS, 10 June 2021 Dying stars exhibit many complex molecules, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and ethyl formate: the molecule that gives raspberries their scent. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 7 Apr. 2021 With the mummichogs that Jasperse and Chernick captured this summer, Di Giulio’s lab is studying some of the more subtle impacts of polycyclic-aromatic hydrocarbons and other pollutants. Carrie Arnold, The Atlantic, 15 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'polycyclic.' 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 polycyclic

1869, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for polycyclic

International Scientific Vocabulary

Learn More About polycyclic

Time Traveler for polycyclic

Time Traveler

The first known use of polycyclic was in 1869

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near polycyclic



polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for polycyclic

Last Updated

12 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Polycyclic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polycyclic. Accessed 22 Jan. 2022.

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

More Definitions for polycyclic


poly·​cy·​clic | \ ˌpäl-i-ˈsī-klik How to pronounce polycyclic (audio) , -ˈsik-lik How to pronounce polycyclic (audio) \

Medical Definition of polycyclic

: having more than one cyclic component especially : having two or more usually fused rings in a molecule


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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