[ pol-ee-yoo r-uh-theyn, -yoo-reth-eyn ]
/ ˌpɒl iˈyʊər əˌθeɪn, -yʊˈrɛθ eɪn /

noun Chemistry.

a thermoplastic polymer containing the group NHCOO: used for padding and insulation in furniture, clothing, and packaging, and in the manufacture of resins for adhesives, elastomers, and fillers.

Nearby words

  1. polytrophic,
  2. polytunnel,
  3. polytypic,
  4. polyunsaturate,
  5. polyunsaturated,
  6. polyurethanes,
  7. polyuria,
  8. polyvalent,
  9. polyvalent allergy,
  10. polyvalent serum

Also pol·y·u·re·than [pol-ee-yoo r-uh-than] /ˌpɒl iˈyʊər əˌθæn/.

Origin of polyurethane

First recorded in 1940–45; poly- + urethane

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for polyurethane


polyurethan (ˌpɒlɪˈjʊərəˌθæn)

/ (ˌpɒlɪˈjʊərəˌθeɪn) /


a class of synthetic materials made by copolymerizing an isocyanate and a polyhydric alcohol and commonly used as a foam (polyurethane foam) for insulation and packing, as fibres and hard inert coatings, and in a flexible form (polyurethane rubber) for diaphragms and seals
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 polyurethane



1944, from polymer + urethane.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for polyurethane


[ pŏl′ē-yurə-thān′ ]

Any of various synthetic resins used to make tough resistant coatings, adhesives, foams, and electrical insulation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.