poly·​sty·​rene | \ ˌpä-lē-ˈstī-ˌrēn How to pronounce polystyrene (audio) \

Definition of polystyrene

: a polymer of styrene especially : a rigid transparent thermoplastic that has good physical and electrical insulating properties and is used especially in molded products, foams, and sheet materials

Examples of polystyrene in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And might different types of plastic, like polystyrene and polyethylene, swirl in water and blow in the winds differently? Matt Simon, Wired, "The Year Humanity Declared War on Microplastics," 20 Dec. 2019 In general, now pictures cannot be hung on walls, doors on bathrooms are either removed or replaced with polystyrene foam doors, and remotes are removed for televisions that are now secured behind plastic glass. Chris Ehrmann, courant.com, "Critics say new suicide prevention requirements make hospital psychiatric wards feel like prisons," 1 Oct. 2019 New York Albany: The governor has proposed a ban on single-use food and beverage containers made from polystyrene foam. USA TODAY, "Lego impeachment, emotional support coyote, mumbo sauce: News from around our 50 states," 21 Dec. 2019 In late 2018 Balinese Governor Wayan Koster announced a ban on plastic bags, polystyrene, and plastic straws. Amanda Tazkia Siddharta, National Geographic, "Bali fights for its beautiful beaches by rethinking waste, plastic trash," 14 Oct. 2019 The nearest facility, only a mile away, is the world’s largest manufacturer of polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam. ProPublica, "Welcome to “Cancer Alley,” Where Toxic Air Is About to Get Worse," 30 Oct. 2012 Laboratory testing found that mealworms that were fed a diet of HBCD-laden polystyrene were as healthy as those eating a normal diet. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Plastic-munching mealworms may be key to helping clean environment," 19 Dec. 2019 After several county commissioners bashed the impending ban of polystyrene (brand name Styrofoam), the board Thursday agreed to appoint the Health Department as the enforcement agency that will ensure Carroll businesses follow the new law. Mary Grace Keller, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Carroll Health Department will enforce foam ban — but leave fines up to state environment department," 25 Nov. 2019 San Francisco also bans polystyrene containers, which are typically used for restaurant takeout food. Conrad Swanson, The Denver Post, "War on plastics: Denver’s proposed bag fee just the beginning," 14 Dec. 2019

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

1927, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for polystyrene

Time Traveler

The first known use of polystyrene was in 1927

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Statistics for polystyrene

Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Polystyrene.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polystyrene. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for polystyrene


poly·​sty·​rene | \ ˌpäl-i-ˈstī(ə)r-ˌēn How to pronounce polystyrene (audio) \

Medical Definition of polystyrene

: a polymer of styrene especially : a rigid transparent thermoplastic that has good physical and electrical insulating properties and is used especially in molded products, foams, and sheet materials

More from Merriam-Webster on polystyrene

Nglish: Translation of polystyrene for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polystyrene

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