plastic

noun
plas·​tic | \ ˈpla-stik \

Definition of plastic

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a plastic substance specifically : any of numerous organic synthetic or processed materials that are mostly thermoplastic or thermosetting polymers of high molecular weight and that can be made into objects, films, or filaments
2 : credit cards used for payment

called also plastic money

plastic

adjective

Definition of plastic (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : made or consisting of a plastic
2 : having a quality suggestive of mass-produced plastic goods especially : artificial sense 3 plastic smiles
3a : capable of being molded or modeled plastic clay
b : capable of adapting to varying conditions : pliable ecologically plastic animals
4 : capable of being deformed continuously and permanently in any direction without rupture
5 : relating to, characterized by, or exhibiting neural plasticity
6 : of, relating to, or involving plastic surgery
7 : formative, creative plastic forces in nature

Definition of -plastic (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : developing : forming thromboplastic
2 : of or relating to (something designated by a term ending in -plasm, -plast, -plasty, or -plasy) homoplastic neoplastic

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Other Words from plastic

Noun

plasticky \ ˈpla-​sti-​kē \ adjective

Synonyms for plastic

Synonyms: Adjective

malleable, moldable, shapable (or shapeable), waxy

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Choose the Right Synonym for plastic

Adjective

plastic, pliable, pliant, ductile, malleable, adaptable mean susceptible of being modified in form or nature. plastic applies to substances soft enough to be molded yet capable of hardening into the desired fixed form. plastic materials allow the sculptor greater freedom pliable suggests something easily bent, folded, twisted, or manipulated. pliable rubber tubing pliant may stress flexibility and sometimes connote springiness. an athletic shoe with a pliant sole ductile applies to what can be drawn out or extended with ease. ductile metals such as copper malleable applies to what may be pressed or beaten into shape. the malleable properties of gold adaptable implies the capability of being easily modified to suit other conditions, needs, or uses. computer hardware that is adaptable

Examples of plastic in a Sentence

Noun

The toy was made of plastic. a company that manufactures plastics She used plastic to pay for her new computer.

Adjective

Silly Putty is famous for being very plastic. there's usually a plastic cordiality at these corporate events
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But skip the disposable plastic straws which are flimsy and, of course, not good for the planet. Sally Tamarkin, SELF, "22 Easy Ways to Drink More Water Every Day," 3 Jan. 2019 Intelligentsia CoffeeAll Intelligentsia stores will stop providing plastic straws on July 15. Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "All of the Travel Companies and Places Phasing Out Single-Use Plastics," 13 July 2018 The coffee chain the largest retailer to promise to eliminate single-use plastic straws. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: The EPA won't change policy after Pruitt. But it might be more transparent about it.," 10 July 2018 On Monday, the coffee giant became the latest company to denounce single-use plastic straws, revealing plans to ban them entirely from its stores worldwide by 2020. Emily Wang, Teen Vogue, "Starbucks Announces Plans to Ban Single-Use Plastic Straws by 2020," 9 July 2018 Seattle is believed to be the first major U.S. city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service, according to Seattle Public Utilities. Anchorage Daily News, "Seattle bans plastic straws, utensils at restaurants, bars," 3 July 2018 Seattle is believed to be the first major U.S. city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service, according to Seattle Public Utilities. CBS News, "Seattle becomes first U.S. city to ban plastic utensils and straws," 2 July 2018 That also is enough plastic straws to fill more than 46,000 school buses in a year or to stretch around the globe more than two times. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "Aardvark paper straws: This Fort Wayne company has your plastic straw alternative," 24 June 2018 And the food service company Bon Appétit Management, whose 1,000-plus locations in 33 states range from the Art Institute of Chicago to the University of Portland, will stop using plastic straws and stirrers by September 2019. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "McDonald's to test plastic-straw alternatives in U.S. later this year," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In each, our daughter has a fuzzy beanbag chair, our middle son maintains towering decks of Magic: The Gathering playing cards, and our youngest keeps plastic crates full of Lego. Tara Conklin, Vogue, "After Divorce, Floating Another Chance at Love," 6 Feb. 2019 In California, restaurant patrons who want to drink through a plastic straw will have to ask for one. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, "New for 2019: Laws on Guns, Harassment, Cannabis-Spiked Drinks," 2 Jan. 2019 Remember when Starbucks banned plastic straws last year? Audrey Bruno, SELF, "12 Health Food Trends to Be on the Lookout for in 2019," 11 Dec. 2018 Each bait station consists of a hollow plastic tube and round plastic cap. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Rid of Termites," 8 Jan. 2019 Use a deep conditioner weekly with a plastic cap in the shower, under a dryer, or even overnight to activate the heat. Lara Adekola, Teen Vogue, "How to Grow Your Natural Hair," 2 Jan. 2019 The anti-plastic movement is also about protecting vulnerable humans, who, just like the disabled, rarely have a voice in political discussions. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "Critics of Starbucks’ Straw Ban Are Missing the Point," 12 July 2018 With a plastic spatula or credit card, gently scrape up the brittle wax. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Way to Remove Candle Wax from Clothes, Carpet, and More," 24 Dec. 2018 Mark curing himself, an inspiration to us all—competing for screen time with dominatrix squads of heavily armed women with plastic bodies running around the streets of Marwen on spindly little legs and brightly colored stilettos. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Welcome to Marwen’ Review: An Excess of Fantasy," 20 Dec. 2018

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

Noun

1803, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1624, in the meaning defined at sense 7

History and Etymology for plastic

Adjective

Latin plasticus of molding, from Greek plastikos, from plassein to mold, form

Adjective combining form

Greek -plastikos, from plassein

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Statistics for plastic

Last Updated

11 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plastic

The first known use of plastic was in 1624

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More Definitions for plastic

plastic

noun

English Language Learners Definition of plastic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a light, strong substance that can be made into different shapes and that is used for making many common products
informal : a credit card when used for payment

plastic

adjective

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

: made or consisting of plastic
informal : not real or sincere
technical : capable of being made into different shapes

plastic

adjective
plas·​tic | \ ˈpla-stik \

Kids Definition of plastic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : made of plastic plastic bags a plastic bucket
2 : capable of being molded or modeled plastic clay

plastic

noun

Kids Definition of plastic (Entry 2 of 2)

: any of various manufactured materials that can be molded into objects or formed into films or fibers

plastic

adjective
plas·​tic | \ ˈplas-tik \

Medical Definition of plastic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : made or consisting of a plastic
2 : capable of being deformed continuously and permanently in any direction without breaking or tearing
3a : capable of growth, repair, or differentiation a plastic tissue
b : relating to, characterized by, or exhibiting neural plasticity
4 : of, relating to, or involving plastic surgery plastic repair

plastic

noun

Medical Definition of plastic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a plastic substance specifically : any of numerous organic synthetic or processed materials that are mostly thermoplastic or thermosetting polymers of high molecular weight and that can be made into objects, films, or filaments
2 : an object made of plastic

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Comments on plastic

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