Definition of Teflon in English:



  • 1A tough synthetic resin made by polymerizing tetrafluoroethylene, chiefly used to coat non-stick cooking utensils and to make seals and bearings.

    • ‘A mix of trendy and traditional styles is available and the entire range is made from machine washable, minimum-iron fabrics with many featuring tough Teflon coating.’
    • ‘Modern aluminium pans have a non-stick interior coating of Teflon or some tougher composite material.’
    • ‘The Teflon coats the threads but doesn't block the pores or gaps between threads.’
    • ‘Both feature 10-ounce cotton canvas with a water-repellant Teflon coating and 100 percent polyester blaze overlay.’
    • ‘Polytetrafluoroethylene is the basis of the non-stick coating Teflon, as well as the breathable waterproof fabric Goretex.’
    1. 1.1[as modifier]Denoting someone whose reputation remains undamaged in spite of scandal or misjudgement.
      ‘acquittal earned him the nickname ‘the Teflon Don’’
      • ‘He was rightly known as the Teflon president: because he made people feel good, they willingly ignored the scandals of his administration.’
      • ‘As a pitching coach, though, he is the sacred cow of the Yankees organization, the Teflon man to whom no failure sticks.’
      • ‘Since then, however, he has become increasingly embroiled in a series of predicaments that have eroded his authority, his Teflon image and, most importantly, his reputation as a winner.’
      • ‘He's a Teflon man but then nobody ever said Teflon men didn't get the job done.’
      • ‘He was the man of steel, Teflon man, untouchable and unbeatable.’


1940s: from tetra- ‘four’+ fluoro- + -on on the pattern of words such as nylon and rayon.