follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

polystyrene

[pol-ee-stahy-reen, -steer-een] /ˌpɒl iˈstaɪ rin, -ˈstɪər in/
noun, Chemistry
1.
a clear plastic or stiff foam, a polymer of styrene, used chiefly as an insulator in refrigerators and air conditioners.
Origin
1925-1930
1925-30; poly- + styrene
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for poly styrene

polystyrene

/ˌpɒlɪˈstaɪriːn/
noun
1.
a synthetic thermoplastic material obtained by polymerizing styrene; used as a white rigid foam (expanded polystyrene) for insulating and packing and as a glasslike material in light fittings and water tanks
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for poly styrene

polystyrene

n.

1922, so called because it is a polymer of styrene.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
poly styrene in Science
polystyrene
  (pŏl'ē-stī'rēn)   
A brittle synthetic polymer composed of repeated styrene units. Polystyrene is transparent and rigid because the benzene rings in each styrene unit prevent the polystyrene chains from arranging themselves into a tight crystalline structure. Polystyrene has a wide variety of uses, especially as a solid foam for insulation and packaging.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for poly styrene

polystyrene

an important member of the class of synthetic organic polymers, composed of long-chain molecules prepared by a chemical reaction in which many (usually 2,000-3,000) molecules of the aromatic hydrocarbon styrene become linked together.

Learn more about polystyrene with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for polystyrene

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for poly

9
10
Scrabble Words With Friends