verb (used with object), mer·cer·ized, mer·cer·iz·ing.

to treat (cotton yarns or fabric) with caustic alkali under tension, in order to increase strength, luster, and affinity for dye.

Nearby words

  1. mercedes,
  2. mercedes-benz,
  3. mercenary,
  4. mercer,
  5. mercer island,
  6. mercery,
  7. merch,
  8. merchandise,
  9. merchandiser,
  10. merchandising

Also especially British, mer·cer·ise.

Origin of mercerize

1855–60; named after John Mercer (1791–1866), English calico printer, the patentee (1850) of the process; see -ize

Related formsmer·cer·i·za·tion, nounmer·cer·iz·er, nounun·mer·cer·ized, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for mercerize




(tr) to treat (cotton yarn) with an alkali to increase its strength and reception to dye and impart a lustrous silky appearance
Derived Formsmercerization or mercerisation, noun

Word Origin for mercerize

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