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colorless hydrocarbon, 1885, from Styrax, name of a genus of trees (the chemical is found in their resin), 1786, from Latin styrax, from Greek styrax, of Sem. origin (cf. Hebrew tsori "terebinth resin"). Form influenced by Greek styrax "shaft of a lance."
styrene sty·rene (stī'rēn')
A colorless oily liquid from which polystyrenes, plastics, and synthetic rubber are produced. Also called vinylbenzene.
liquid hydrocarbon that belongs to the family of aromatic organic compounds and is important chiefly for its marked tendency to undergo polymerization. Styrene is used in the manufacture of plastics, resins, and rubbers, which are composed of very large molecules (polymers) formed by combination of smaller ones (monomers). It is also used to make polyesters and latex paints.