[ stahy-reen, steer-een ]
/ ˈstaɪ rin, ˈstɪər in /

noun Chemistry.

a colorless, water-insoluble liquid, C8H8, having a penetrating aromatic odor, usually prepared from ethylene and benzene or ethylbenzene, that polymerizes to a clear transparent material and copolymerizes with other materials to form synthetic rubbers.
Compare polystyrene.

Origin of styrene

1880–85; styr- (shortened stem of styrax) + -ene Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for styrene

/ (ˈstaɪriːn) /


a colourless oily volatile flammable water-insoluble liquid made from ethylene and benzene. It is an unsaturated compound and readily polymerizes: used in making synthetic plastics and rubbers. Formula: C 6 H 5 CH:CH 2See also polystyrene

Word Origin for styrene

C20: from styr (ax) + -ene
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

Medicine definitions for styrene

[ stīrēn′ ]


A colorless oily liquid from which polystyrenes, plastics, and synthetic rubber are produced.vinylbenzene
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for styrene

[ stīrēn′ ]

A colorless, oily aromatic hydrocarbon that readily undergoes polymerization. It is used in making polystyrene, polyesters, synthetic rubber, and other products. Chemical formula: C8H8.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.