elastic

adjective
elas·​tic | \ i-ˈla-stik How to pronounce elastic (audio) \

Definition of elastic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a 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 : capable of recovering quickly especially from depression or disappointment my elastic spirits revived— Wilkie Collins
3 : capable of being easily stretched or expanded and resuming former shape : flexible an elastic bandage
4a : 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

elastic

noun

Definition of elastic (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : easily stretched rubber usually prepared in cords, strings, or bands
2a : an elastic fabric usually made of yarns containing rubber
b : something made from this fabric

Other Words from elastic

Adjective

elastically \ i-​ˈla-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce elastic (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for elastic

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for elastic

Adjective

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

Examples of elastic in a Sentence

Adjective when vacationing, we generally have very elastic daily sightseeing plans Noun She wrapped an elastic around the cards.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The Exlura Square Neck Dress is short on the bottom, hitting above the knees, and has long puffy sleeves that can be pushed up or down and stay in place thanks to elastic cuffs. Amy Schulman, PEOPLE.com, 24 Apr. 2022 The relaxed silhouette is loose without being overly baggy, and the tapered elastic cuffs at the bottom offer a more tailored look. Hannah Freedman, Travel + Leisure, 30 Mar. 2022 Most of his tailored outerwear and pants—complete with an elastic waistband to fit everyone—falls into this bracket. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, 15 Feb. 2022 Vaginal tissue is elastic by nature after puberty because of the production of oestrogen, but also because of the pelvic floor, the structure of muscles supporting our bladders, reproductive organs, and our rectums, which act like a hammock. Sophia Smith Galer, refinery29.com, 13 Apr. 2022 Fabrics should be soft and pants must have elastic waistbands. Washington Post, 6 Aug. 2021 Dai's stretchy trousers with elastic waistbands accommodate body shapes and waist lines that might have fluctuated over the past 15 to 18 months, as many working from home rediscovered their appetite for snacks. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 21 July 2021 Perhaps especially now, after a year of elastic waistbands and Zoom fits. Alessandra Codinha, Town & Country, 21 June 2021 More than a year spent in lockdown in the safe and cocoon-like confines of hoodies and elastic waistbands has rendered even the most style-savvy among us at a loss for how to put on clothes. Ingrid Frahm, Harper's BAZAAR, 16 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Our testers appreciated the double elastic on the fitted sheet, making bed-making simple and easy. Grace Wu, Good Housekeeping, 18 Apr. 2022 Use a safety pin to help guide the elastic through. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 4 Feb. 2022 Bring the ends underneath the base of the low ponytail, and secure them together with a clear elastic. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 1 July 2021 To prevent the elastic from rubbing against your heel, the sandals have a leather strap on the back. Eden Lichterman, PEOPLE.com, 26 July 2021 The elastic can get wound around wildlife, which can result in serious injury to birds and/or animals. Washington Post, 8 July 2021 Tighten the elastic to secure it firmly against the bottom base of the ponytail. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 1 July 2021 Next, spray the roots with a finishing product, like the Monat Studio One Glossy Shine Mist, and brush the hair back into a ponytail, secured with an elastic. Nikki Brown, PEOPLE.com, 1 June 2021 Since most of your underwear drawer is probably 100 percent cotton, keeping waste down is easy–just cut off the elastic and compost the rest. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, 29 Apr. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of elastic

Adjective

1674, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for elastic

Adjective

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

Learn More About elastic

Time Traveler for elastic

Time Traveler

The first known use of elastic was in 1674

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near elastic

elastase

elastic

elastic afterwork

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for elastic

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Elastic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elastic. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for elastic

elastic

adjective
elas·​tic | \ i-ˈla-stik How to pronounce elastic (audio) \

Kids Definition of elastic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: capable of returning to original shape or size after being stretched, pressed, or squeezed together

elastic

noun

Kids Definition of elastic (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : material that can be stretched

elastic

adjective
elas·​tic | \ i-ˈlas-tik How to pronounce elastic (audio) \

Medical Definition of elastic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a of a solid : capable of recovering size and shape after deformation
b of a liquid : capable of resisting compression
c of a gas : capable of indefinite expansion
2 : capable of being easily stretched or expanded and resuming former shape

Other Words from elastic

elastically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce elastic (audio) \ adverb

elastic

noun

Medical Definition of elastic (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : easily stretched rubber usually prepared in cords, strings, or bands
b : a band of elastic used especially in orthodontics also : one placed around a tooth at the gumline in effecting its nonsurgical removal
2a : an elastic fabric usually made of yarns containing rubber
b : something made from this fabric

More from Merriam-Webster on elastic

Nglish: Translation of elastic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elastic for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!