• synonyms


verb (used with object), vul·can·ized, vul·can·iz·ing.
  1. to treat (rubber) with sulfur and heat, thereby imparting strength, greater elasticity, durability, etc.
  2. to subject (a substance other than rubber) to some analogous process, as to harden it.
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Also especially British, vul·can·ise.

Origin of vulcanize

First recorded in 1820–30; Vulcan + -ize
Related formsvul·can·iz·a·ble, adjectivevul·can·i·za·tion, nounvul·can·iz·er, nounnon·vul·can·ized, adjectiveself-vul·can·iz·ing, adjectivesem·i·vul·can·ized, adjectiveun·vul·can·ized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vulcanization

Historical Examples of vulcanization

  • The process that makes it a finished product is known as vulcanization.

    Commercial Geography

    Jacques W. Redway

  • The discovery of the vulcanization process acted as a very great stimulus to the rubber industry.


    Edith A. Browne

  • The heat used in vulcanization reaches as much as three hundred degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Goodyear had discovered the process which afterwards came to be known as “vulcanization.”

  • Mr. Goodyear had not yet discovered, however, the process of vulcanization, upon which the rubber industry is founded.

British Dictionary definitions for vulcanization



verb (tr)
  1. to treat (rubber) with sulphur or sulphur compounds under heat and pressure to improve elasticity and strength or to produce a hard substance such as vulcanite
  2. to treat (substances other than rubber) by a similar process in order to improve their properties
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Derived Formsvulcanizable or vulcanisable, adjectivevulcanization or vulcanisation, nounvulcanizer or vulcaniser, noun
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 vulcanization



1827, "to put into flames," from Vulcan (q.v.), name of the Roman god of fire, + -ize. As a treatment for rubber, first recorded 1846. Related: Vulcanized; vulcanizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

vulcanization in Science


  1. To harden rubber by combining it with sulfur or other substances in the presence of heat and pressure. Vulcanization gives rubber strength, resistance, and elasticity.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

vulcanization in Culture


An industrial process that strengthens natural rubber. Because it requires great heat, the process was named after the Roman god of fire, Vulcan.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.