plastic

noun
plas·​tic | \ ˈpla-stik How to pronounce plastic (audio) \

Definition of plastic

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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 : credit cards used for payment

called also plastic money

plastic

adjective

Definition of plastic (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : made or consisting of a plastic
2 : having a quality suggestive of mass-produced plastic goods especially : artificial sense 3 plastic smiles
3a : capable of being molded or modeled plastic clay
b : capable of adapting to varying conditions : pliable ecologically plastic animals
4 : capable of being deformed continuously and permanently in any direction without rupture
5 : relating to, characterized by, or exhibiting neural plasticity
6 : of, relating to, or involving plastic surgery
7 : formative, creative plastic forces in nature

Definition of -plastic (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : developing : forming thromboplastic
2 : of or relating to (something designated by a term ending in -plasm, -plast, -plasty, or -plasy) homoplastic neoplastic

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Other Words from plastic

Noun

plasticky \ ˈpla-​sti-​kē How to pronounce plasticky (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for plastic

Synonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for plastic

Adjective

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

Examples of plastic in a Sentence

Noun The toy was made of plastic. a company that manufactures plastics She used plastic to pay for her new computer. Adjective Silly Putty is famous for being very plastic. there's usually a plastic cordiality at these corporate events
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Four giant plastic greenhouses sheltered crops of peppers and tomatoes. The Economist, "The tale of a village László Bogdán died on July 14th," 1 Aug. 2020 But this plastic is durable with a protective nonslip exterior and snap-tight silicone strap. Rachel King, Fortune, "The must-have gear, gadgets, and accessories for safer summer travel," 3 July 2020 The problem is rampant: tiny pieces of plastic littering the world. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: Why climate activists are joining Black Lives Matter protests," 24 June 2020 With a range of up to 30 feet, pepper-spray balls are made of plastic that breaks on impact to release a chemical irritant intended to stun or incapacitate somebody. USA Today, "'Less lethal' can still maim and kill: A visual guide to weapons police use on protesters," 20 June 2020 Volcanic rock is cool and all, but if a budget option sounds even cooler, try this plastic, footed 56-Ounce Molcajete and Salsa Bowl ($15.87, originally $20.03; amazon.com). Tanya Edwards, CNN Underscored, "Everything you need for the perfect taco night at home," 18 June 2020 The project was begun by a local plastic who planned to live there with his wife. Nancy Sarnoff, Houston Chronicle, "European-style castle in the Houston suburbs asks $12 million," 15 June 2020 Glass storage containers are heavy, and hard plastic can be bulky. Popular Science, "Reusable sandwich bags and wraps for eco-friendly eats," 12 June 2020 As with the standard version, this big two-blade mechanical uses a small plastic FliteLoc blade-retaining clip that is a hassle to deal with—but my complaints stop there. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "The Best New Broadheads of the Year," 5 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The second there’s a shortage in one piece of equipment required for one test—like a specific plastic tube—then the whole testing platform comes to a halt. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "Why Covid-19 test results are taking so long," 31 July 2020 Wrapped up just like their shelf-stable siblings, just peel down the plastic wrapper and take a bite. Tanya Edwards, CNN Underscored, "We tried Kind’s new dairy-free frozen bars, and here’s what we thought," 31 July 2020 Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rest 11/2 hours. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Homemade bread: It’s the staff of life," 31 July 2020 For quick and easy protection on a large scale, store food in its original packaging in large, sturdy plastic bins. Megan Hughes, Better Homes & Gardens, "6 Tips for Preventing Cockroaches From Invading Your Home," 31 July 2020 The witness told authorities that an unknown suspect set fire to a plastic trash bin in the church’s rear parking lot and walked away. Anna Bauman, SFChronicle.com, "Arsonist sets fire outside church of prominent Black pastor in Berkeley," 29 July 2020 The variation within species, the result of both plastic responses of the trees to their environment and genetic variation between individuals, often appears to be as great as the variation between species. Andrew L. Hipp, Scientific American, "How Oak Trees Evolved to Rule the Forests of the Northern Hemisphere," 15 July 2020 Instead of six students at each table, there will be four, with plastic dividers between them. Karina Bland, The Arizona Republic, "This teacher can’t wait to see her students back in school – but not until it’s safe," 11 July 2020 Open Style Lab developed a pattern for a DIY, reusable cloth mask and a plastic mask cover that takes the needs of healthcare workers and people with disabilities into consideration. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "How to make masks that everyone will want to wear," 10 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plastic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of plastic

Noun

1803, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1624, in the meaning defined at sense 7

History and Etymology for plastic

Adjective

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

Adjective combining form

Greek -plastikos, from plassein

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Learn More about plastic

Time Traveler for plastic

Time Traveler

The first known use of plastic was in 1624

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Statistics for plastic

Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Plastic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plastic. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for plastic

plastic

noun
How to pronounce -plastic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of plastic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a light, strong substance that can be made into different shapes and that is used for making many common products
informal : a credit card when used for payment

plastic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of plastic (Entry 2 of 2)

: made or consisting of plastic
informal : not real or sincere
technical : capable of being made into different shapes

plastic

adjective
plas·​tic | \ ˈpla-stik How to pronounce plastic (audio) \

Kids Definition of plastic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : made of plastic plastic bags a plastic bucket
2 : capable of being molded or modeled plastic clay

plastic

noun

Kids Definition of plastic (Entry 2 of 2)

: any of various manufactured materials that can be molded into objects or formed into films or fibers

plastic

adjective
plas·​tic | \ ˈplas-tik How to pronounce plastic (audio) \

Medical Definition of plastic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : made or consisting of a plastic
2 : capable of being deformed continuously and permanently in any direction without breaking or tearing
3a : capable of growth, repair, or differentiation a plastic tissue
b : relating to, characterized by, or exhibiting neural plasticity
4 : of, relating to, or involving plastic surgery plastic repair

plastic

noun

Medical Definition of plastic (Entry 2 of 2)

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 : an object made of plastic

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Comments on plastic

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