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elastic

play
adjective elas·tic \ i-ˈla-stik \
Updated on: 26 Jul 2017

Definition of elastic

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 :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
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

elastically

play \i-ˈla-sti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of elastic in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of elastic from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology 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

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

2

elastic

noun

Definition of elastic

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

Examples of elastic in a Sentence

  1. She wrapped an elastic around the cards.

Recent Examples of elastic from the Web

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

1847


Financial Definition of ELASTIC

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.



ELASTIC Defined for English Language Learners

elastic

play
adjective

Definition of elastic for English Language Learners

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

  • : able to be changed


elastic

noun

Definition of elastic for English Language Learners

  • : material that can be stretched : elastic fabric


ELASTIC Defined for Kids

1

elastic

play
adjective elas·tic \ i-ˈla-stik \

Definition of elastic for Students

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

2

elastic

noun

Definition of elastic for Students

2 :material that can be stretched

Medical Dictionary

1

elastic

play
adjective elas·tic \ i-ˈlas-tik \

medical Definition of elastic

1 a 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

elastically

play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

2

elastic

noun

medical Definition of elastic

1 a :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
2 a :an elastic fabric usually made of yarns containing rubber
b :something made from this fabric


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