elasticity

noun
elas·​tic·​i·​ty | \ i-ˌla-ˈsti-sə-tē, ˌē-ˌla-, -ˈti-stē\
plural elasticities

Definition of elasticity 

1 : the quality or state of being elastic: such as
a : the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation : springiness
c : the quality of being adaptable
2 : the responsiveness of a dependent economic variable to changes in influencing factors elasticity of demand price elasticity

Examples of elasticity in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

If you're compelled to wash them more frequently, the color and elasticity hold up through regular washing and drying. Kim Fusaro, Glamour, "The Actual Best Workout Pants Cost Less Than $30," 14 Nov. 2018 The all-in-one treatment claims to address multiple signs of aging—from wrinkles to hyperpigmentation to loss of elasticity—with the added benefit of skin routines. Maddy Zollo, Town & Country, "Hanacure: The Creepy Korean Facial Taking Over The Beauty World," 12 Nov. 2018 The Ageless Enriching Renewal Cream is rich in free radical-fighting antioxidants and hydrating hyaluronic acid to reduce the loss of elasticity and dullness in the face. Tanisha Pina, Allure, "Tatcha's Labor Day Sale Features Major Deals on All These Skin-Care Products," 30 Aug. 2018 Aerin Lauder’s Rose Balm packs more than 350 soothing petals into each small pot, while Tata Harper’s version uses high concentrations of six nourishing plant butters to improve skin texture and increase elasticity. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The One Beauty Product That Will Take You From Winter Into Spring," 21 Mar. 2018 There was an increase in elasticity, and a slight lift of lines and creases; and this was only after one use. Jesa Marie Calaor, Allure, "Strivectin's TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream Is the Best-Selling Neck Cream in the U.S.," 10 Apr. 2018 Just one cup provides 160 percent of the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for vitamin C—a necessary element to make collagen, which gives your skin its firmness and elasticity. Abigail L. Cuffey, Woman's Day, "5 Foods for Optimal Health," 27 Aug. 2012 After scaling the volcano with Sandy, our hero uses his small stature and elasticity to set the charge—and the volcano erupts in bubbles, just as Sandy predicted. Sam Walker, WSJ, "Now on Broadway: SpongeBob ChauvinistPants," 11 July 2018 The snatch strap’s elasticity helps to cushion sudden loads on both vehicles and may provide some extra tug to help pull a vehicle free. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "The Gear You Need to Get Your Truck Unstuck," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elasticity.' 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 elasticity

1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

15 Dec 2018

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The first known use of elasticity was in 1664

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More Definitions for elasticity

elasticity

noun

Financial Definition of elasticity

What It Is

Elasticity is a measure of how much the quantity demanded of a service/good changes in relation to its price, income or supply.

How It Works

If the quantity demanded changes a lot when prices change a little, a product is said to be elastic. This often is the case for products or services for which there are many alternatives, or for which consumers are relatively price sensitive. For example, if the price of Cola A doubles, the quantity demanded for Cola A will fall when consumers switch to less-expensive Cola B.

When there is a small change in demand when prices change a lot, the product is said to be inelastic. The most famous example of relatively inelastic demand is that for gasoline. As the price of gasoline increases, the quantity demanded doesn't decrease all that much. This is because there are very few good substitutes for gasoline and consumers are still willing to buy it even at relatively high prices.

Why It Matters

Elasticity is important because it describes the fundamental relationship between the price of a good and the demand for that good.

Elastic goods and services generally have plenty of substitutes. As an elastic service/good's price increases, the quantity demanded of that good can drop fast. Example of elastic goods and services include furniture, motor vehicles, instrument engineering products, professional services, and transportation services.

Inelastic goods have fewer substitutes and price change doesn't affect quantity demanded as much. Some inelastic goods include gas, electricity, water, drinks, clothing, tobacco, food, and oil.

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To learn more about specific types of elasticity, see the following:

Income Elasticity of Demand: the responsiveness of quantity demanded to a change in income.
Price Elasticity of Demand (PED): the responsiveness of quantity demanded to a change in  price.
Elasticity of Supply: the responsiveness of the quantity supplied to a change in price.

Source: Investing Answers

elasticity

noun
elas·​tic·​i·​ty | \ i-ˌla-ˈsti-sə-tē \

Kids Definition of elasticity

: the quality or state of being easily stretched

elasticity

noun
elas·​tic·​i·​ty | \ i-ˌlas-ˈtis-ət-ē, ˌē-ˌlas-, -ˈtis-tē \
plural elasticities

Medical Definition of elasticity 

: the quality or state of being elastic

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More from Merriam-Webster on elasticity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with elasticity

Spanish Central: Translation of elasticity

Nglish: Translation of elasticity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elasticity for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about elasticity

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