[pol-ee-yoo r-uh-theyn, -yoo-reth-eyn]

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.

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

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British Dictionary definitions for polyurethane


polyurethan (ˌpɒlɪˈjʊərəˌθæn)


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

polyurethane in Science



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.