A polymer is a large molecule
A molecule is an electrically neutral group of at least two atoms held together by covalent chemical bonds. Molecules are distinguished from ions by their electrical charge...

A macromolecule is a very large molecule commonly created by some form of polymerization. In biochemistry, the term is applied to the four conventional biopolymers , as well as non-polymeric molecules with large molecular mass such as macrocycles...

) composed of repeating structural unit
Structural unit
In polymer chemistry, a structural unit is a building block of a polymer chain. It is the result of a monomer which has been polymerized into a long chain....

s. These subunits are typically connected by covalent chemical bond
Chemical bond
A chemical bond is an attraction between atoms that allows the formation of chemical substances that contain two or more atoms. The bond is caused by the electromagnetic force attraction between opposite charges, either between electrons and nuclei, or as the result of a dipole attraction...

s. Although the term polymer is sometimes taken to refer to plastic
A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids used in the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular mass, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce production costs...

s, it actually encompasses a large class comprising both natural and synthetic materials with a wide variety of properties.

Because of the extraordinary range of properties of polymeric materials, they play an essential and ubiquitous role in everyday life.