noun Chemistry.

any of a number of polymers containing alternate silicon and oxygen atoms, as (–Si–O–Si–O–)n, whose properties are determined by the organic groups attached to the silicon atoms, and that are fluid, resinous, rubbery, extremely stable in high temperatures, and water-repellent: used as adhesives, lubricants, and hydraulic oils and in electrical insulation, cosmetics, etc.


Origin of silicone

First recorded in 1905–10; silic(on) + -one
Can be confusedsilicon silicone Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for silicone

Contemporary Examples of silicone

Historical Examples of silicone

  • He used the solar furnace that had made the silicone wool to smelt it.

    Sand Doom

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • There is no sharp dividing line between the quartz armor and the silicone tissue.

    Uller Uprising

    Henry Beam Piper, John D. Clark and John F. Carr

  • "Well, this silicone stuff the Martians used for paper is pretty durable," Hubert Penrose said.


    H. Beam Piper

  • There's a silicone gum between the thin double layers, to seal possible meteor punctures.

    The Planet Strappers

    Raymond Zinke Gallun

British Dictionary definitions for silicone



  1. any of a large class of polymeric synthetic materials that usually have resistance to temperature, water, and chemicals, and good insulating and lubricating properties, making them suitable for wide use as oils, water-repellents, resins, etc. Chemically they have alternate silicon and oxygen atoms with the silicon atoms bound to organic groups
  2. (as modifier)silicone rubber
See also siloxane
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 silicone

coined 1863 in German from silico-, comb. form indicating the presence of silicon, + -one.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for silicone




Any of a group of silicon compounds in solid, liquid, or gel form, characterized by wide-range thermal stability, high lubricity, extreme water repellence, and physiological inertness and used in many medical products, including surgical implants and dental impression materials.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for silicone



Any of a class of chemical compounds consisting of long chains of alternating silicon and oxygen atoms, with two organic radicals, typically a methyl (CH3) and a phenyl (C6H5) group, attached to each silicon atom. Silicones are very stable and resist the effects of water, heat, and oxidizing agents. They are used to make adhesives, lubricants and synthetic rubber.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.