polyvinyl alcohol

noun Chemistry.
a colorless, water-soluble, thermoplastic resin, derived by the hydrolysis of polyvinyl acetate: used chiefly as an adhesive and as a sizing agent in the manufacture of textiles, paper, and plastics.

Origin:
1925–30

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

polyvinyl alcohol

a colourless, water-soluble, flammable resin belonging to the family of organic polymers. The resin is used in sizing agents that confer resistance to oils and greases upon paper and textiles, to make films resistant to attack by solvents or oxygen, as a component of adhesives and emulsifiers, and as a starting material for the preparation of other resins.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The gel is made by mixing powdered polyvinyl alcohol with acid in a mold.
Polyvinyl alcohol is actually made from polyvinyl acetate, by cleaving the acetate ester.
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