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[vuhl-kuh-nahyz] /ˈvʌl kəˌnaɪz/
verb (used with object), vulcanized, vulcanizing.
to treat (rubber) with sulfur and heat, thereby imparting strength, greater elasticity, durability, etc.
to subject (a substance other than rubber) to some analogous process, as to harden it.
Also, especially British, vulcanise.
Origin of vulcanize
First recorded in 1820-30; Vulcan + -ize
Related forms
vulcanizable, adjective
vulcanization, noun
vulcanizer, noun
nonvulcanized, adjective
self-vulcanizing, adjective
semivulcanized, adjective
unvulcanized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for vulcanise


verb (transitive)
to treat (rubber) with sulphur or sulphur compounds under heat and pressure to improve elasticity and strength or to produce a hard substance such as vulcanite
to treat (substances other than rubber) by a similar process in order to improve their properties
Derived Forms
vulcanizable, vulcanisable, adjective
vulcanization, vulcanisation, noun
vulcanizer, vulcaniser, noun
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 vulcanise



1827, "to put into flames," from Vulcan (q.v.), name of the Roman god of fire, + -ize. As a treatment for rubber, first recorded 1846. Related: Vulcanized; vulcanizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vulcanise in Science
To harden rubber by combining it with sulfur or other substances in the presence of heat and pressure. Vulcanization gives rubber strength, resistance, and elasticity.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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