polyvinyl alcohol


variants or less commonly polyvinylalcohol
: a colorless synthetic polymer that has the chemical structure H(CH2CHOH)nH and that is used especially in adhesives, films, and fibers, and in biomedical applications especially as hydrogels
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is a nontoxic, biodegradable, and biocompatible polymer and has been used extensively in various fields.Leela Gautam et al.
Today, instead of starch or gelatin, we often use a synthetic material, polyvinyl alcohol, which can be dissolved in water to make "white glue," a current household favorite.Joe Schwarcz

called also PVA

Examples of polyvinyl alcohol in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hu and colleagues have also used polyvinyl alcohol, or PVA—a polymer used in glue and food packaging—to infiltrate the wood skeletons, making transparent wood that conducts heat at a rate five times lower than that of glass, the team reported in 2019 in Advanced Functional Materials. Jude Coleman, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'polyvinyl alcohol.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1927, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of polyvinyl alcohol was in 1927

Dictionary Entries Near polyvinyl alcohol

Cite this Entry

“Polyvinyl alcohol.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polyvinyl%20alcohol. Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

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