One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A substance which has a molecular structure built up chiefly or completely from a large number of similar units bonded together, e.g. many synthetic organic materials used as plastics and resins.
- ‘High molecular weight polymers can have viscosity values in the millions of centipoise range.’
- ‘The ability of living organisms to define the molecular composition of a polymer with complete accuracy is an enviable one.’
- ‘Gels in the laboratory such as silica gel and some polymers have been studied and exploited for years.’
- ‘This is usually dextrose, but amino acids and glucose polymers can also be used.’
- ‘Nucleic acids are also polymers, composed of repeating units called nucleotides.’
Mid 19th century: from German, from Greek polumeros ‘having many parts’, from polu- ‘many’ + meros ‘a share’.
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