A polymer is a very large, chain-like molecule made up of monomers, which are small molecules. It can be naturally occurring or synthetic.

What's a mer? — you might ask. Well, it means "part," and it works only as a suffix. Since poly- means "many," a polymer means "many parts." You'll find polymers everywhere: they're what make spandex stretch and sneakers bounce. They're the plastic drink bottles that you're always careful to recycle. Natural polymers include leather, rubber, and even the cellulose in your french fries and the protein in your chicken nuggets.

Definitions of polymer
  1. noun
    a naturally occurring or synthetic compound consisting of large molecules made up of a linked series of repeated simple monomers
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    DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, desoxyribonucleic acid
    (biochemistry) a long linear polymer found in the nucleus of a cell and formed from nucleotides and shaped like a double helix; associated with the transmission of genetic information
    RNA, ribonucleic acid
    (biochemistry) a long linear polymer of nucleotides found in the nucleus but mainly in the cytoplasm of a cell where it is associated with microsomes; it transmits genetic information from DNA to the cytoplasm and controls certain chemical processes in the cell
    synthetic resin
    a resin having a polymeric structure; especially a resin in the raw state; used chiefly in plastics
    a polymer consisting of two or more different monomers
    polyurethan, polyurethane
    any of various polymers containing the urethane radical; a wide variety of synthetic forms are made and used as adhesives or plastics or paints or rubber
    a complex polymer; the chief constituent of wood other than carbohydrates; binds to cellulose fibers to harden and strengthen cell walls of plants
    polyamide, polymeric amide
    a polymer containing repeated amide groups
    silicone, silicone polymer
    any of a large class of siloxanes that are unusually stable over a wide range of temperatures; used in lubricants and adhesives and coatings and synthetic rubber and electrical insulation
    a polymer (or a molecule of a polymer) consisting of three identical monomers
    a segment of DNA containing adjacent genes including structural genes and an operator gene and a regulatory gene
    acrylate resin, acrylic, acrylic resin
    a glassy thermoplastic; can be cast and molded or used in coatings and adhesives
    polyethylene, polythene
    a lightweight thermoplastic; used especially in packaging and insulation
    allyl resin
    a resin derived from allyl alcohol that hardens when cured; used as an adhesive
    bouncing putty
    a soft elastic silicone polymer that increases in elasticity with the application of force; used in the center of golf balls and as shock-absorbent padding
    cDNA, complementary DNA
    single-stranded DNA that is complementary to messenger RNA or DNA that has been synthesized from messenger RNA by reverse transcriptase
    DNA that is not incorporated into the genome but is replicated together with the genome (especially in bacterial cells)
    coding DNA, exon
    sequence of a gene's DNA that transcribes into protein structures
    intron, noncoding DNA
    sequence of a eukaryotic gene's DNA that is not translated into a protein
    junk DNA
    stretches of DNA that do not code for genes
    recombinant DNA, recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid
    genetically engineered DNA made by recombining fragments of DNA from different organisms
    sticky end
    an end of DNA in which one strand of the double helix extends a few units beyond the other
    jumping gene, transposon
    a segment of DNA that can become integrated at many different sites along a chromosome (especially a segment of bacterial DNA that can be translocated as a whole)
    informational RNA, mRNA, messenger RNA, template RNA
    the template for protein synthesis; the form of RNA that carries information from DNA in the nucleus to the ribosome sites of protein synthesis in the cell
    nRNA, nuclear RNA
    ribonucleic acid found in the nucleolus of the cell
    acceptor RNA, soluble RNA, tRNA, transfer RNA
    RNA molecules present in the cell (in at least 20 varieties, each variety capable of combining with a specific amino acid) that attach the correct amino acid to the protein chain that is being synthesized at the ribosome of the cell (according to directions coded in the mRNA)
    urea-formaldehyde resin
    a clear thermosetting resin made from urea and formaldehyde and used in electrical fittings, adhesives, and finishes
    alkyd, alkyd resin
    a durable synthetic resin widely used in adhesives and paints
    phenolic, phenolic resin, phenoplast
    a thermosetting resin
    epoxy, epoxy glue, epoxy resin
    a thermosetting resin; used chiefly in strong adhesives and coatings and laminates
    polyfoam, polyurethane foam
    a foam made by adding water to polyurethane plastics
    melamine resin
    a thermosetting resin formed from melamine and an aldehyde; used in molded products, adhesives, and coatings
    a thermoplastic polyamide; a family of strong resilient synthetic fibers
    any of numerous synthetic resins; they are light and strong and weather resistant
    polyvinyl resin, vinyl polymer, vinyl resin
    a thermoplastic derived by polymerization from compounds containing the vinyl group
    type of:
    chemical compound, compound
    (chemistry) a substance formed by chemical union of two or more elements or ingredients in definite proportion by weight
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