AskDefine | Define monomer

Dictionary Definition

monomer n : a simple compound whose molecules can join together to form polymers

User Contributed Dictionary



|tr=mono- + |tr=meros.


  1. A relatively small molecule which can be covalently bonded to other monomers to form a polymer.


small molecule, bonded covalently to form polymers
  • Finnish: monomeeri
  • Italian: monomero
  • Swedish: monomer

See also

Extensive Definition

A monomer (from Greek mono "one" and meros "part") is a small molecule that may become chemically bonded to other monomers to form a polymer .

Synthetic monomers

Examples of monomers are hydrocarbons such as the alkene and arene homologous series. Here hydrocarbon monomers such as phenylethene and ethene form polymers used as plastics like polyphenylethene (commonly known as polystyrene) and polyethene (commonly known as polyethylene or polythene). Other commercially important monomers include acrylic monomers such as acrylic acid, methyl methacrylate, and acrylamide.

Natural monomers

Amino acids are natural monomers, and polymerize to form proteins. Glucose monomers can also polymerize to form starches, amylopectins and glycogen polymers. In this case the polymerization reaction is known as a dehydration or condensation reaction (due to the formation of water (H2O) as one of the products) where a hydrogen atom and a hydroxyl (-OH) group are lost to form H2O and an oxygen molecule bonds between each monomer unit.

Molecular weight

The lower molecular weight compounds built from monomers are also referred to as dimers, trimers, tetramers, quadramers, pentamers, octamers, 20-mers, etc. if they have 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, or 20 monomer units, respectively. Any number of these monomer units may be indicated by the appropriate prefix, eg, decamer, being a 10-unit monomer chain or polymer. Larger numbers are often stated in English in lieu of Greek. Polymers with relatively low number of units are called oligomers.

External links


monomer in Arabic: مونومر
monomer in Catalan: Monòmer
monomer in Czech: Monomer
monomer in German: Monomer
monomer in Estonian: Monomeer
monomer in Spanish: Monómero
monomer in Basque: Monomero
monomer in Persian: تکپار
monomer in French: Monomère
monomer in Galician: Monómero
monomer in Korean: 단위체
monomer in Ido: Monomero
monomer in Indonesian: Monomer
monomer in Italian: Monomero
monomer in Hebrew: מונומר
monomer in Lithuanian: Monomeras
monomer in Macedonian: Мономер
monomer in Dutch: Monomeer
monomer in Japanese: モノマー
monomer in Norwegian: Monomer
monomer in Occitan (post 1500): Monomèr
monomer in Polish: Monomery
monomer in Portuguese: Monômero
monomer in Russian: Мономер
monomer in Albanian: Monomeri
monomer in Slovak: Monomér
monomer in Finnish: Monomeeri
monomer in Swedish: Monomer
monomer in Ukrainian: Мономер
monomer in Chinese: 单体
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