Did You Know?
There are many natural polymers, including shellac, cellulose, and rubber. But synthetic polymers only came into being around 1870 with Celluloid, known especially for its use in photographic film. After many decades of development, the polymeric compounds now include polypropylene, used in milk crates, luggage, and hinges; polyurethane, used in paints, adhesives, molded items, rubbers, and foams; and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), used to make pipes that won't rust. And let's not forget polyester, which gave us a lot of uncool clothing in the 1970s but whose strength and resistance to corrosion have ensured that it remains an extremely useful material for all kinds of goods.
Origin and Etymology of polymer
International Scientific Vocabulary, back-formation from polymeric, from Greek polymerēs having many parts, from poly- + meros part — more at merit
First Known Use: 1866
POLYMER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of polymer for English Language Learners
chemistry : a chemical compound that is made of small molecules that are arranged in a simple repeating structure to form a larger molecule
POLYMER Defined for Kids
Definition of polymer for Students
: a chemical compound that is made of small molecules that are arranged in a simple repeating structure to form a larger molecule
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