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noun, plural: polymers

(1) A compound made up of several repeating units (monomers) or protomers.

(2) The product of polymerization.


Polymers are made from monomers linked by chemical bonds. They are produced by polymerization, and occur either naturally or synthetically.

Examples of natural polymers are cellulose, shellac and amber. Biopolymers such as proteins and nucleic acids play crucial roles in biological processes.

Common synthetic polymers are Bakelite, neoprene, nylon, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), polystyrene, polyacrylonitrile and PVB (polyvinyl butyral).

Word origin: Greek polumerēs, consisting of many parts : polu-, poly- + meros, part.

Related forms: polymeric (adjective). Derived terms: biopolymer, copolymer.

Compare: monomer.