poly·​eth·​yl·​ene | \ ˌpä-lē-ˈe-thə-ˌlēn How to pronounce polyethylene (audio) \

Definition of polyethylene

: a polymer of ethylene especially : any of various partially crystalline lightweight thermoplastics (CH2CH2)x that are resistant to chemicals and moisture, have good insulating properties, and are used especially in packaging and insulation

Examples of polyethylene in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Although the green polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging Sprite bottles are currently made of is recyclable, because of its color, it's separated from other clear items to avoid discoloring material used to make new PET bottles. Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, 28 July 2022 Aside from being highly durable thanks to a polyethylene with ultra high molecular weight, the fabric is DWR-treated and completely waterproof. Outside Online, 23 June 2022 While still remaining affordable, this cover comes with three layers polypropylene, one layer of waterproof polyethylene film, and one layer of UV protection. Talon Homer, Popular Mechanics, 22 June 2022 Made of impact-resistant polyethylene, the hot tub also has water filtration and ozone purification systems and a multicolor LED backlit waterfall with nine light options. Rachel Klein, Popular Mechanics, 20 July 2022 The price of recycled polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, flake, which is usually made out of old drink containers, is up around 35% in Europe since January, according to data from Independent Commodity Intelligence Services. Carol Ryan, WSJ, 12 July 2022 The long chains of repeating molecules that make up polyethylene are very flexible. Benjamin Elling, The Conversation, 23 June 2022 The most common was polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used to make soft drink bottles and clothes. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 June 2022 Simply put, an ecobrick is a PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle, packed solid with used plastics. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 20 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of polyethylene

1862, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for polyethylene

Time Traveler

The first known use of polyethylene was in 1862

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Dictionary Entries Near polyethylene



polyethylene glycol

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Statistics for polyethylene

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Polyethylene.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polyethylene. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for polyethylene


poly·​eth·​yl·​ene | \ ˌpäl-ē-ˈeth-ə-ˌlēn How to pronounce polyethylene (audio) \

Medical Definition of polyethylene

: a polymer of ethylene especially : any of various lightweight thermoplastics (CH2CH2)x that are resistant to chemicals and moisture and are used especially in packaging, insulation, surgical implants, prostheses, and tubing

More from Merriam-Webster on polyethylene

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polyethylene


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