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adjective elas·tic \i-ˈlas-tik\

Simple Definition of elastic

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

  • : able to be changed

Full Definition of elastic

  1. 1 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

  2. 2 :  capable of recovering quickly especially from depression or disappointment <my elastic spirits revived — Wilkie Collins>

  3. 3 :  capable of being easily stretched or expanded and resuming former shape :  flexible <an elastic bandage>

  4. 4 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 play \-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>.



noun elas·tic

Simple Definition of elastic

  • : material that can be stretched : elastic fabric

Full Definition of elastic

  1. 1 a :  easily stretched rubber usually prepared in cords, strings, or bands b :  rubber band

  2. 2 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


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February 7, 2016

a slight offense

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