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[mur-suh-rahyz] /ˈmɜr səˌraɪz/
verb (used with object), mercerized, mercerizing.
to treat (cotton yarns or fabric) with caustic alkali under tension, in order to increase strength, luster, and affinity for dye.
Also, especially British, mercerise.
Origin of mercerize
1855-60; named after John Mercer (1791-1866), English calico printer, the patentee (1850) of the process; see -ize
Related forms
mercerization, noun
mercerizer, noun
unmercerized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for mercerize


(transitive) to treat (cotton yarn) with an alkali to increase its strength and reception to dye and impart a lustrous silky appearance
Derived Forms
mercerization, mercerisation, noun
Word Origin
C19: named after John Mercer (1791–1866), English maker of textiles
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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