elastic

adjective
elas·tic | \i-ˈla-stik \

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

b : rubber band

2a : an elastic fabric usually made of yarns containing rubber

b : something made from this fabric

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from elastic

Adjective

elastically \i-ˈla-sti-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for elastic

Synonyms: Adjective

bouncy, flexible, resilient, rubberlike, rubbery, springy, stretch, stretchable, supple, whippy

Antonyms: Adjective

inelastic, inflexible, nonelastic, rigid, stiff

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 elastic panel at the lower back keeps the waist from bagging or pinching, and all those seams across the hips accommodate curves. Kelly Bastone, Outside Online, "Europeans Know How to Make Women's Mountain Bike Shorts," 29 June 2018 Then there’s Taylor McFerrin, the elusive, elastic vocalist, beat boxer and synth player (oh, and Bobby McFerrin’s son) who has existed under the radar since his 2014 solo LP, Early Riser. Molly Eichel, Philly.com, "Album reviews: SOPHIE, Dierks Bentley, R + R = Now," 12 July 2018 But that would be an incomplete reading of the collection and a misreading of the genre, an elastic label that offers a rather easy recipe for critics — have people; add wings. Scott Cheshire, latimes.com, "Sara Gallardo's work has finally been published in English. It's about time," 6 July 2018 The elastic waist offers plenty of accommodating stretch, and the button-fly closure didn’t rub under the hipbelt of my overloaded (that is, weighed down with booze for celebrating independence on our own) backpack. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, "Chubbies American Flag Shorts Are Perfect for Hiking," 2 July 2018 Buy Now Etiquette Clothiers classic no-show sock Made from downy combed cotton and featuring a super-low, comfortable cut and an elastic heel grip, these socks are the perfect thing to ward off foot stink all summer long. Megan Gustashaw, GQ, "These Superior No-Show Socks Are a Summer Miracle," 11 May 2018 Trousers were pleated with a jodhpur curve at the thigh and secured with elastic at the ankle, while safari shorts were cross-fertilized with ribbed knit leggings. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "Thrown for a Loop at Dries Van Noten and Chloé," 1 Mar. 2018 Credit the lack of elastic at the waist to prevent cutting into the midsection, whether saddling up for a ten-mile ride or settling into a desk chair at the office. Outside Online, "The Best Performance Underwear of 2018," 15 May 2018 Missing from the equation, however, was Hadid's sleek blunt bob and in its place, a halo of soft retro curls secured half back with a simple elastic—the work of celebrity hairstylist and friend, Jen Atkin. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Bella Hadid, Is That You? The Supermodel Debuts a Fresh New Look at Cannes," 10 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Plus, the soft material is far easier on your hair than tight elastics. refinery29.com, "The Unexpected '90s Trend That Celebs Are Loving," 20 June 2018 Try to avoid tight hair ties, like elastics, that week, which could put extra stress on the hair. Loren Savini, Allure, "The Best Products and Techniques for Strengthening Breakage-Prone Hair," 23 May 2018 Jazz up a ponytail or a half-up, half-down style with one of these soft elastics (the Cut staff is already obsessed). Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "The Best Spring Hair Accessory Trends," 17 Apr. 2018 Add colored elastics into her hair to add a fun touch to this versatile updo. Sasha Henriques, Woman's Day, "The 10 Best Back-to-School Hairstyles for Kids," 25 July 2017 These are high-brow and highly enjoyable alternatives to generic elastics that wind around hair and are a pain to take out. Shannon Barbour, The Cut, "Silk Scrunchies Are Here," 13 Mar. 2018 Flip the tail ends up, tuck them in between your head and the clear elastics, and pull them out through the bottom to create the topsy tails. Brooke Shunatona, Cosmopolitan, "15 Super-Easy Hairstyles for Lazy Girls Who Can't Even," 12 Dec. 2017 Friendships should be enduring and flexible like rubber bands, but sometimes elastics snap. Jessica Ariel Wendroff, Teen Vogue, "5 Signs It's Time to Break Up With Your BFF," 2 Nov. 2017 Add colored elastics into her hair to add a fun touch to this versatile updo. Sasha Henriques, Woman's Day, "The 10 Best Back-to-School Hairstyles for Kids," 25 July 2017

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about elastic

Phrases Related to elastic

elastic band

Statistics for elastic

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for elastic

The first known use of elastic was in 1674

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for elastic

elastic

adjective

Financial Definition of elastic

What It Is

Something is elastic when its price varies with the price of another item. It the business world, the term most often refers to how much the price of a good or service changes when the supply of that good or service changes.
The formula for elasticity is:

Elasticity = % Change in Quantity/% Change in Price

How It Works

Let's assume that when gas prices increase by 50%, gas purchases fall by 25%. Using the formula above, we can calculate that the price elasticity of gasoline is:

Elasticity = -25%/50% = -0.50

Thus, we can say that for every percentage point that gas prices increase, gas purchases decrease by half a percentage point. The price of gas is elastic.

Why It Matters

If demand changes a lot when prices change a little, the demand for a product is elastic. This often is the case for products or services for which there are many alternatives or for which consumers are price sensitive.

The opposite is also true: When there is a small change in demand when prices change a lot, the product is inelastic. This is often the case for products and services that people consider necessities and will purchase at almost any price. The presence of few good substitutes and the presence of customer loyalty are also factors. At some point, however, there is a price at which demand for any good or service will fall to zero or near zero.

Source: Investing Answers

elastic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of elastic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

: able to be changed

elastic

noun

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

: material that can be stretched : elastic fabric

elastic

adjective
elas·tic | \i-ˈla-stik \

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

Keep scrolling for more

elastic

adjective
elas·tic | \i-ˈlas-tik \

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 \ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on elastic

What made you want to look up elastic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!