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

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Other Words from elastic

Adjective

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

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 shape is generally the same—a pair of pants with a drawstring and elastic cuffs on the ankles, lending a roomy balloon-like shape. Sarah Spellings, Vogue, "All The Ways We Styled Sweats This Year," 23 Dec. 2020 This latex-free disposable mask also has a moldable metal nose clip as well as flexible elastic ear loops for a comfortable fit. Lauren Levy, NBC News, "How to buy the best disposable face mask, according to experts," 5 Jan. 2021 These use a two-ply polyester cloth and have elastic loops for the ears. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, "Racing- and Car-Themed Face Masks for Any Occasion," 8 Dec. 2020 Eberjey’s version features a button-down top with notch collar and piping, a generous pant with elastic waist, both fashioned from soft jersey. Washington Post, "This is our pajama moment," 7 Dec. 2020 Slowly though, this drawer filled up with an especially gaudy collection of flotsam: sparkly dresses, capes, plastic beads, fake flowers, hideous wigs, and netting underskirts with sagging elastic at the waistline. Rosalind Jana, refinery29.com, "Celebrate Dressing Up For The Holidays — Even With Nowhere To Go," 21 Dec. 2020 He was last seen wearing a dark T-shirt and black sweat pants with elastic ankle bands. Marc Ramirez, Dallas News, "85-year-old man with Alzheimer’s missing in Garland found safe," 13 Nov. 2020 The clever attachment offers an alternate way to wear a mask that doesn’t involve looping elastic around your ears. Braelyn Wood, Health.com, "The 6 Best Face Mask Extenders to Make Your Face Covering More Comfortable," 11 Sep. 2020 After about three hours, my ears and head started to ache a bit from the pressure of the elastic. Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, "Vacation ready? Here’s what to bring – and do – to stay safe," 11 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Carefully take down your hair and if possible, skip the elastic all together. Tomoko Takeda Canel, Seventeen, "10 Genius Hacks For Making Your Hair Grow Faster," 15 Oct. 2020 And don’t expect the wider base to squeeze inside backpack water bottle pockets that don’t have any elastic. Adrienne Donica, Popular Mechanics, "We Tested a Bunch of Hydro Flasks. These Are the Ones Worth Buying.," 17 Nov. 2020 Throwing your hair up in a tight elastic is already causing stress to your strands. Tomoko Takeda Canel, Seventeen, "10 Genius Hacks For Making Your Hair Grow Faster," 15 Oct. 2020 Some face masks use loose cloth ties instead of stretchy loops, and these ties can be a good solve if the elastic is bothersome. Madison O'connor, USA TODAY, "Foggy glasses? Mask acne? How to solve 5 pandemic annoyances – without taking off the mask," 19 Aug. 2020 Some face masks use loose cloth ties instead of stretchy loops, and these ties can be a good solve if the elastic is bothersome. Madison O'connor, USA TODAY, "Foggy glasses? Mask acne? How to solve 5 pandemic annoyances – without taking off the mask," 19 Aug. 2020 Some face masks use loose cloth ties instead of stretchy loops, and these ties can be a good solve if the elastic is bothersome. Madison O'connor, USA TODAY, "Foggy glasses? Mask acne? How to solve 5 pandemic annoyances – without taking off the mask," 19 Aug. 2020 Available on retailers like Amazon and Etsy, the innovative picks come in a wide variety of designs including flexible plastic, adjustable elastic, and even kid-friendly shapes. Braelyn Wood, Health.com, "The 6 Best Face Mask Extenders to Make Your Face Covering More Comfortable," 11 Sep. 2020 Some face masks use loose cloth ties instead of stretchy loops, and these ties can be a good solve if the elastic is bothersome. Madison O'connor, USA TODAY, "Foggy glasses? Mask acne? How to solve 5 pandemic annoyances – without taking off the mask," 19 Aug. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for elastic

Time Traveler

The first known use of elastic was in 1674

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Statistics for elastic

Last Updated

27 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elastic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elastic. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for elastic

elastic

adjective
How to pronounce elastic (audio)

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 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

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Comments on elastic

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