One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Originally: designating polymeric compounds prepared from derivatives of ethylene. Now: of, relating to, or of the nature of polyethylene.
2Relating to or designating a hydrocarbon chain in which there are several CHCH double bonds; (especially of fatty acids) containing such chains; polyenic.
Mid 19th century. From poly- + ethylenic, originally after French polyéthylénique.
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