Polymer [ ˈpɒl ə mər ]
A polymer is a substance composed of macromolecules. A macromolecule is a molecule of high relative molecular mass, the structure of which essentially comprises the multiple repetition of units derived, actually or conceptually, from molecules of low relative molecular mass.
- a compound of high molecular weight derived either by the addition of many smaller molecules, as polyethylene, or by the condensation of many smaller molecules with the elimination of water, alcohol, or the like, as nylon.
- a compound formed from two or more polymeric compounds.
- a product of polymerization.
- a naturally occurring or synthetic compound, such as starch or Perspex, that has large molecules made up of many relatively simple repeated units
- Any of numerous compounds of usually high molecular weight and consisting of up to millions of repeated linked units, each a relatively light and simple molecule.
- Any of various chemical compounds made of smaller, identical molecules (called monomers) linked together. Some polymers, like cellulose, occur naturally, while others, like nylon, are artificial. Polymers have extremely high molecular weights, make up many of the tissues of organisms, and have extremely varied and versatile uses in industry, such as in making plastics, concrete, glass, and rubber.♦ The process by which molecules are linked together to form polymers is called polymerization (pŏl′ə-lĭm′ər-ĭ-zā′shən).