One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: any of the series of saturated cyclic hydrocarbons with the formula (CH₂)ₙ; = "naphthene". Later: a compound, group, or polymeric structure which consists of or contains a chain of methylene groups, —(CH₂)ₙ—.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Journal of the Chemical Society. From poly- + methylene.
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