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[bey-kuh-lahyt, beyk-lahyt] /ˈbeɪ kəˌlaɪt, ˈbeɪk laɪt/
a brand name for any of a series of thermosetting plastics prepared by heating phenol or cresol with formaldehyde and ammonia under pressure: used for radio cabinets, telephone receivers, electric insulators, and molded plastic ware. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Bakelite
Historical Examples
  • This second dial was no more than a thin disk of hard rubber or Bakelite, with a red scratch-mark on one side.

    The Infra-Medians Sewell Peaslee Wright
  • Bakelite, however, is only one of an indefinite number of such condensation products.

    Creative Chemistry Edwin E. Slosson
  • The product is similar to Bakelite, exactly how similar is a question that the courts will have to decide.

    Creative Chemistry Edwin E. Slosson
  • A phenolic condensation product closely related to Bakelite and redmanol is condensite, the invention of Jonas Walter Aylesworth.

    Creative Chemistry Edwin E. Slosson
  • Bakelite is a substitute for hard rubber or amber, invented by the eminent chemist Dr. Baekeland.

  • This is a name the Australians coined for synthetic resin made from phenol and formaldehyde like Bakelite.

    Creative Chemistry Edwin E. Slosson
  • Yeah, some of them are on Bakelite and some we just use a clip and maybe a piece of cardboard.

    Warren Commission (6 of 26): Hearings Vol. VI (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • Pipestems and beads of Bakelite have the clear brilliancy of amber and greater strength.

    Creative Chemistry Edwin E. Slosson
British Dictionary definitions for Bakelite


trademark any one of a class of thermosetting resins used as electric insulators and for making plastic ware, telephone receivers, etc
Word Origin
C20: named after L. H. Baekeland (1863–1944), Belgian-born US inventor; see -ite1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Bakelite



type of plastic widely used early 20c., 1909, from German Bakelit, named for Belgian-born U.S. physicist Leo Baekeland (1863-1944), who invented it. Originally a proprietary name, it is formed by the condensation of a phenol with an aldehyde.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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