Illustrated Glossary of Organic Chemistry

Polymer: A molecule is which one or more subunits (the monomers) are repeated many times. The monomers may be the same (for example the glucose units in cellulose) or different (for example the amino acids in proteins or the nucleotides or nucleosides in RNA and DNA). When the polymer contains more than one monomer it is called a copolymer.


Polyethylene is a linear polymer formed by polymerization of ethylene.

Amylopectin, a component of starch, is a branched biopolymer in which the monomer is α-D-glucopyranose.

DNA is a linear biopolymer in which the monomers are nucleotides. DNA can also be considered a copolymer in which the monomers are phosphates and nucleosides.