adjective elas·tic \i-ˈlas-tik\

: able to return to an original shape or size after being stretched, squeezed, etc.

: able to be changed

Full Definition of ELASTIC

a of a solid :  capable of recovering size and shape after deformation
b :  relating to or being a collision between particles in which the total kinetic energy of the particles remains unchanged
:  capable of recovering quickly especially from depression or disappointment <my elastic spirits revived — Wilkie Collins>
:  capable of being easily stretched or expanded and resuming former shape :  flexible <an elastic bandage>
a :  capable of ready change or easy expansion or contraction :  not rigid or constricted <an elastic concept>
b :  receptive to new ideas :  adaptable <an elastic mind>
elas·ti·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of ELASTIC

  1. <when vacationing, we generally have very elastic daily sightseeing plans>

Origin of ELASTIC

New Latin elasticus, from Late Greek elastos ductile, beaten, from Greek elaunein to drive, beat out; probably akin to Greek ēlythe he went, Old Irish luid
First Known Use: 1674

Synonym Discussion of ELASTIC

elastic, resilient, springy, flexible, supple mean able to endure strain without being permanently injured. elastic implies the property of resisting deformation by stretching <an elastic waistband>. resilient implies the ability to recover shape quickly when the deforming force or pressure is removed <a resilient innersole>. springy stresses both the ease with which something yields to pressure and the quickness of its return to original shape <the cake is done when the top is springy>. flexible applies to something which may or may not be resilient or elastic but which can be bent or folded without breaking <flexible plastic tubing>. supple applies to something that can be readily bent, twisted, or folded without any sign of injury <supple leather>.

Other Physics Terms

amplitude, centrifugal, centripetal, convection, gradient, hysteresis, kinetic, lase, quantum



: material that can be stretched : elastic fabric

Full Definition of ELASTIC

a :  easily stretched rubber usually prepared in cords, strings, or bands
b :  rubber band
a :  an elastic fabric usually made of yarns containing rubber
b :  something made from this fabric

Examples of ELASTIC

  1. She wrapped an elastic around the cards.

First Known Use of ELASTIC

May 25, 2015
callithump Hear it
a noisy boisterous band or parade
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