• A chemical bond between different chains of atoms in a polymer or other complex molecule.

    • ‘Using a hydrolytic enzyme to help break the cross-links of thermosetting plastics for recycling.’
    • ‘They studied the effects by assessing free urinary pyridinium cross links in growing rats, age 5-12 weeks.’
    • ‘These reactive aldehydes form specific cross-links between two chains.’
    • ‘Infliximab cross links tumour necrosis factor bound to T cells, thus inactivating or destroying it.’
    • ‘The intramolecular hydrogen bond network is not static, but consists of many fluctuating cross links within the template framework.’


  • 1Make or become linked with a cross link.

    [with object] ‘adjacent protein chains are cross-linked by quinones’
    [no object] ‘these substances cross-link without any problem’
    ‘cross-linked copolymers of vinyl pyrrolidone with methyl methacrylate’
    • ‘Unlike diene and saturated elastomers, thermoplastic elastomers are physically, rather than chemically, cross-linked.’
    • ‘Some researchers believe that prepolymers - such as unsaturated polyester cross-linked with styrene or epoxies - achieve better results.’
    • ‘These fibres are surrounded by a matrix of disorderly keratin-like proteins cross-linked by sulphur atoms, like steel cables embedded in concrete.’
    • ‘In 1839, Charles Goodyear produced the first significant development when he created a process for making cross-linked, or vulcanized, rubber.’
    • ‘As it dries, the oil molecules react with oxygen in the air, becoming cross-linked with each other in the process.’
    1. 1.1[with object]Connect (something) by a series of transverse links.
      ‘cross-link the guidance system with the actual games programme’
      • ‘‘See also’ links are cross-links between related pages on the website.’
      • ‘The most prominent feature of this suitably archaic-looking site is a huge interactive timeline that lists and cross-links people, events and places.’
      • ‘It is an interesting little program in that it lets you create seemingly random lists and cross-link them to other ideas so that you start to create some kind of organization out of those ideas.’
      • ‘Purchasing and setting up multiple domains can be a great way to increase your visibility on the Web and if you cross-link your domains, you can improve your link popularity for each site.’
      • ‘He has the role of reviewing and cross-linking the results of the work of the others.’