Compare dimer, tetramer, trimer.

Origin of oligomer

First recorded in 1965–70; oligo- + -mer
Related formso·lig·o·mer·ic [uh-lig-uh-mer-ik] /əˌlɪg əˈmɛr ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for oligomer


  1. a compound of relatively low molecular weight containing up to five monomer unitsCompare polymer, copolymer

Word Origin for oligomer

C20: from oligo- + -mer, as in polymer
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

oligomer in Science


  1. A molecule that consists of a relatively small and specifiable number of monomers (usually less than five). Unlike a polymer, if one of the monomers is removed from an oligomer, its chemical properties are altered.
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