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[sil-i-kohn] /ˈsɪl ɪˌkoʊn/
noun, Chemistry
any of a number of polymers containing alternate silicon and oxygen atoms, as (–Si–O–Si–O–) n, whose properties are determined by the organic groups attached to the silicon atoms, and that are fluid, resinous, rubbery, extremely stable in high temperatures, and water-repellent: used as adhesives, lubricants, and hydraulic oils and in electrical insulation, cosmetics, etc.
Origin of silicone
1905-10; silic(on) + -one
Can be confused
silicon, silicone. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for silicone
  • It puts a slippy silicone layer right at that spot so that the friction is reduced.
  • After that, light-sensitive silicone lenses may arrive.
  • Its outer casing is made of silicone and is fitted with pressure sensors so that it knows what it is touching.
  • It is able to do this because it is filled with a mineral oil that slowly diffuses through the silicone.
  • The pair in question were neither voluptuous nor pneumatic by the standards of silicone inflation that came later.
  • Tiny particles of silver are coated with organic molecules so that they float, and are then added to silicone oil.
  • Pour in a little olive oil and swirl or use a silicone brush to coat the pan.
  • Hoping to monitor penguins unobtrusively, scientists are testing a tag made of silicone rubber.
  • The creature's easily damaged skin demanded that body fluids be replaced with silicone at a much slower rate.
  • In this process body water and fats are replaced with liquid silicone rubber.
British Dictionary definitions for silicone


  1. any of a large class of polymeric synthetic materials that usually have resistance to temperature, water, and chemicals, and good insulating and lubricating properties, making them suitable for wide use as oils, water-repellents, resins, etc. Chemically they have alternate silicon and oxygen atoms with the silicon atoms bound to organic groups
  2. (as modifier): silicone rubber
See also siloxane
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 silicone

coined 1863 in German from silico-, comb. form indicating the presence of silicon, + -one.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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silicone in Medicine

silicone sil·i·cone (sĭl'ĭ-kōn')
Any of a group of silicon compounds in solid, liquid, or gel form, characterized by wide-range thermal stability, high lubricity, extreme water repellence, and physiological inertness and used in many medical products, including surgical implants and dental impression materials.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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silicone in Science
Any of a class of chemical compounds consisting of long chains of alternating silicon and oxygen atoms, with two organic radicals, typically a methyl (CH3) and a phenyl (C6H5) group, attached to each silicon atom. Silicones are very stable and resist the effects of water, heat, and oxidizing agents. They are used to make adhesives, lubricants and synthetic rubber.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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