polystyrene

[ pol-ee-stahy-reen, -steer-een ]
/ ˌpɒl iˈstaɪ rin, -ˈstɪər in /

noun Chemistry.

a clear plastic or stiff foam, a polymer of styrene, used chiefly as an insulator in refrigerators and air conditioners.

QUIZZES

IS YOUR DESERT PLANT KNOWLEDGE SUCCULENT OR DRIED UP?

Cactus aficionados, don't get left in the dust with this quiz on desert plants. Find out if you have the knowledge to survive this prickly foray into the desert!
Question 1 of 7
This tall, horizontally branched cactus is probably the most recognizable cactus in Arizona. What is it called?

Origin of polystyrene

First recorded in 1925–30; poly- + styrene
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for polystyrene

polystyrene
/ (ˌpɒlɪˈstaɪriːn) /

noun

a synthetic thermoplastic material obtained by polymerizing styrene; used as a white rigid foam (expanded polystyrene) for insulating and packing and as a glasslike material in light fittings and water tanks
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

Scientific definitions for polystyrene

polystyrene
[ pŏl′ē-stīrēn ]

A brittle synthetic polymer composed of repeated styrene units. Polystyrene is transparent and rigid because the benzene rings in each styrene unit prevent the polystyrene chains from arranging themselves into a tight crystalline structure. Polystyrene has a wide variety of uses, especially as a solid foam for insulation and packaging.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.