elas·​tic·​i·​ty | \ i-ˌla-ˈsti-sə-tē How to pronounce elasticity (audio) , 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 And its true power comes from the sea: Fucus Serratus, a strain of seaweed harvested off the coast of Ireland, lends antioxidants and minerals that improve elasticity and detoxify the skin. Chloe Metzger And Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "The Best Face Oil for Every Single Skin Type," 29 Aug. 2019 Vitamin C is needed to build collagen, improve skin elasticity, and fend off sagging. Cynthia Sass, Mph, Health.com, "8 Health Benefits of Peaches," 7 Aug. 2019 The same qualities that enabled Bogdanović to stretch his role for the Pacers give his game some elasticity across the board. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Top 100 NBA Players of 2020," 12 Sep. 2019 Seabuckthorn oil is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and compounds that can improve skin elasticity, cell regeneration, and overall health when applied topically. Claudia Fisher, Health.com, "This Vitamin C Serum With 5,000 Near-Perfect Reviews Will Transform Your Skin—and It's on Sale," 15 July 2019 This reduction in muscle performance is likely due to decreased muscle elasticity. Sherri Leimkuhler, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Leimkuhler: Dymanic stretching decreases injuries," 31 Aug. 2019 The second, conducted in 2010, noted improvements in hair elasticity. Jessica Ourisman, Good Housekeeping, "What Rice Water Can Do For Your Hair, According to Experts," 5 Aug. 2019 Mack, who has a degree in exercise physiology and biomechanics, focuses on elasticity over strength. Mike Chambers, The Denver Post, "Trainer who pushed Patrick Kane to career year now working with Avs’ J.T. Compher," 4 Aug. 2019 This oil’s blend of Argan, jojoba, rose and camellia oil stimulates collagen production and improves elasticity. Kaitlyn Frey, PEOPLE.com, "The Beauty Products Khloé Kardashian Uses in Her Current Skincare Lineup," 27 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for elasticity

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for elasticity

The first known use of elasticity was in 1664

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More Definitions for elasticity



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


elas·​tic·​i·​ty | \ i-ˌla-ˈsti-sə-tē How to pronounce elasticity (audio) \

Kids Definition of elasticity

: the quality or state of being easily stretched


elas·​tic·​i·​ty | \ i-ˌlas-ˈtis-ət-ē, ˌē-ˌlas-, -ˈtis-tē How to pronounce elasticity (audio) \
plural elasticities

Medical Definition of elasticity

: the quality or state of being elastic

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Comments on elasticity

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to spread as a report or rumor

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