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adjective plas·tic \ˈplas-tik\

Simple Definition of plastic

  • : made or consisting of plastic

  • : not real or sincere

  • : capable of being made into different shapes

Full Definition of plastic

  1. 1 :  formative, creative <plastic forces in nature>

  2. 2 a :  capable of being molded or modeled <plastic clay> b :  capable of adapting to varying conditions :  pliable <ecologically plastic animals>

  3. 3 :  sculptural

  4. 4 :  made or consisting of a plastic

  5. 5 :  capable of being deformed continuously and permanently in any direction without rupture

  6. 6 :  of, relating to, or involving plastic surgery

  7. 7 :  having a quality suggestive of mass-produced plastic goods; especially :  artificial 4 <plastic smiles>

  8. 8 :  relating to, characterized by, or exhibiting neural plasticity

Examples of plastic

  1. <Silly Putty is famous for being very plastic.>

  2. <there's usually a plastic cordiality at these corporate events>

Origin of plastic

Latin plasticus of molding, from Greek plastikos, from plassein to mold, form

First Known Use: 1632

Synonym Discussion of plastic

plastic, pliable, pliant, ductile, malleable, adaptable mean susceptible of being modified in form or nature. plastic applies to substances soft enough to be molded yet capable of hardening into the desired fixed form <plastic materials allow the sculptor greater freedom>. pliable suggests something easily bent, folded, twisted, or manipulated <pliable rubber tubing>. pliant may stress flexibility and sometimes connote springiness <an athletic shoe with a pliant sole>. ductile applies to what can be drawn out or extended with ease <ductile metals such as copper>. malleable applies to what may be pressed or beaten into shape <the malleable properties of gold>. adaptable implies the capability of being easily modified to suit other conditions, needs, or uses <computer hardware that is adaptable>.

Rhymes with plastic



noun plas·tic

Simple Definition of plastic

  • : a light, strong substance that can be made into different shapes and that is used for making many common products

  • : a credit card when used for payment

Full Definition of plastic

  1. 1 :  a plastic substance; specifically :  any of numerous organic synthetic or processed materials that are mostly thermoplastic or thermosetting polymers of high molecular weight and that can be made into objects, films, or filaments

  2. 2 :  credit cards used for payment —called also plastic money

plas·ticky play \ˈplas-ti-kē\ adjective

Examples of plastic

  1. The toy was made of plastic.

  2. a company that manufactures plastics

  3. She used plastic to pay for her new computer.


First Known Use of plastic



adjective combining form plas·tic

Definition of -plastic

  1. 1 :  developing :  forming <thromboplastic>

  2. 2 :  of or relating to (something designated by a term ending in -plasm, -plast, -plasty, or -plasy) <homoplastic> <neoplastic>

Origin of -plastic

Greek -plastikos, from plassein

Seen and Heard

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February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

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