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

That includes staying at least 6 feet from wildlife, sticking to the paths and, more recently, refraining from bringing single-use plastics and polyethylene food containers. Heidi Chang, Los Angeles Times, "In danger of being overrun, some places are trying to manage tourism. Here’s how," 10 Aug. 2019 The wells are also yielding vast amounts of gas liquids, especially ethane, the basic feedstock for producing ethylene and polyethylene, which are used to manufacture plastic. Keith Schneider, ProPublica, "West Virginia Bets Big on Plastics, and on Backing of Trump Administration," 31 July 2019 Yoga Design Lab uses bales of plastic bottle waste made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) that have been supplied by recycling collectors and then eventually (after a mind-numbing number of steps) transformed into mats. Mary Billard, Los Angeles Times, "Is your yoga mat bad for the environment?," 19 July 2019 These fibers, which often include lightweight polymers such as nylon or high-density polyethylene, can be more powerful, based on their weight, than human muscles. Sid Perkins, Scientific American, "A New Twist on Artificial Muscles," 11 July 2019 This 2013 patent is for a polyethylene sleeve that would contain such explosions. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "Seven Inventions For a Safer Fourth of July," 3 July 2019 That includes the polyethylene value chain, one of the most common types of plastic and a key driver of the petrochemical boom on the Gulf Coast. Marissa Luck, Houston Chronicle, "Could petrochemicals be entering a down cycle?," 25 June 2019 Among the pieces: the Banjooli table, with bright yellow polyethylene cords woven to evoke overlapping feathers and inspired by the courtship dance of the ostrich. Washington Post, "RIGHT AT HOME: Outdoor decor that’s ‘out there’ and edgy," 19 June 2019 The job today is to install new polyethylene pipeline and tie it into a new distribution main, also plastic. Nathaniel Penn, Popular Mechanics, "The Day the Town Blew Up," 3 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of polyethylene

1862, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for polyethylene

Last Updated

13 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for polyethylene

The first known use of polyethylene was in 1862

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English Language Learners Definition of polyethylene

US : a light and strong plastic that is used mainly in sheets for packaging


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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