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[pol-ee-eth-uh-leen] /ˌpɒl iˈɛθ əˌlin/
noun, Chemistry
a plastic polymer of ethylene used chiefly for containers, electrical insulation, and packaging.
Also called, British, polythene.
Origin of polyethylene
1935-40; poly- + ethylene Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for polyethylene
  • The campaign rhetoric may be a thing seen through a roll of polyethylene, darkly, but the campaign issues are clear enough.
  • It is my opinion that ever one would it is a mixture of steroids and polyethylene glycol, a neuro toxin, clinical antifreeze.
  • The base layer of modern skis is made from a substance called ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene.
  • Then everybody put on polyethylene gloves and began touching.
  • They're made of polyethylene terephthalate, one component of which is basically antifreeze.
  • Tents are made from a variety of materials, such as cotton, nylon and polyethylene.
  • The bottles are made mostly from polyethylene terephthalate.
  • Made from polyethylene, plastic bags are not biodegradable and are making their way into our oceans and waterways.
  • polyethylene-the common plastic used in grocery bags-is good for detecting the heat of a fire.
  • The envelope is composed of polyethylene and is only as thick as a household freezer bag.
British Dictionary definitions for polyethylene


another name for polythene
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
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Word Origin and History for polyethylene

polymer of ethylene, 1862, from French polyéthylène; see poly- + ethylene. Related: Polyethylenic (1860).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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polyethylene in Science
Any of various artificial resins consisting of many ethyl groups (CH2CH2) joined end to end or in branched chains. Polyethylenes are easily molded and are resistant to other chemicals. They can be repeatedly softened and hardened by heating and cooling, and are used for many purposes, such as making containers, tubes, and packaging.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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