vulcanize

play
verb vul·ca·nize \ ˈvəl-kə-ˌnīz \

Definition of vulcanize

vulcanized; vulcanizing
transitive verb
:to subject to vulcanization
intransitive verb
:to undergo vulcanization

vulcanizer

noun

vulcanize was our Word of the Day on 11/18/2011. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Vulcanize sounds like something Spock from Star Trek might do, but the explanation behind this word has more to do with ancient mythology than it does with science fiction. Vulcanization involves heating rubber in combination with sulfur. The Roman god Vulcan (whose Greek counterpart is Hephaestus) was the god of fire and of skills that used fire, such as metalworking. So when Charles Goodyear discovered that high heat would result in stronger rubber, he called the process "vulcanization" after the god of fire. Goodyear stumbled upon the idea in 1839 and acquired a patent for it in 1844, but the words "vulcanize" and "vulcanization" didn't appear in print until 1845 and 1846 respectively.

Origin and Etymology of vulcanize

International Scientific Vocabulary, from Latin Vulcanus Vulcan, fire


VULCANIZE Defined for Kids

vulcanize

play
verb vul·ca·nize \ ˈvəl-kə-ˌnīz \

Definition of vulcanize for Students

vulcanized; vulcanizing
:to treat rubber with chemicals in order to give it more strength or flexibility


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