[puh-lim-er-uh-zey-shuh n, pol-uh-mer-]
noun Chemistry.
  1. the act or process of forming a polymer or polymeric compound.
  2. the combination of many like or unlike molecules to form a more complex product of higher molecular weight, with elimination of water, alcohol, or the like (condensation polymerization), or without such elimination (addition polymerization).
  3. the conversion of one compound into another by such a process.

Origin of polymerization

First recorded in 1875–80; polymerize + -ation
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for polymerization

Historical Examples of polymerization

  • Possibly the different forms of matter may be due to a single cause--polymerization.

  • On a hunch I dropped in an aluminum alkyl, and then pushed the polymerization along with both ultraviolet and heat.

    The Professional Approach

    Charles Leonard Harness

  • Oxidation, dehydration and polymerization have all been suggested, but there is little direct evidence.

    Animal Proteins

    Hugh Garner Bennett

  • Similar considerations as to the formation and breaking up of the molecules in anabolism and catabolism apply to polymerization.

British Dictionary definitions for polymerization



  1. the act or process of forming a polymer or copolymer, esp a chemical reaction in which a polymer is formed
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

Word Origin and History for polymerization

1866, from polymer + -ization.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

polymerization in Medicine


[pə-lĭm′ər-ĭ-zāshən, pŏlə-mər-]
  1. The bonding of two or more monomers to form a polymer.
  2. A chemical process that effects this bonding.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.