plastic

noun
plas·​tic | \ ˈpla-stik How to pronounce plastic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce plasticky (audio) \ 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

Cheery gingham placemats, durable melamine plates, and a stately plastic pitcher complete the look. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "Wayfair Is Having a Massive Sale on All Outdoor Furniture Right Now," 8 May 2019 Hudson explains that recycled plastic bottles were crushed and then turned into a fiber that became this top, as well as the jeans. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Kate Hudson Just Launched an Eco-Friendly Fashion Line," 4 Apr. 2019 Many attribute his sudden support of legalizing recreational marijuana and proposing a ban of single-use plastics to Nixon’s candidacy. Sarah Emily Baum, Teen Vogue, "Why Do Candidates Run for Office When There’s Little Chance They Can Win?," 7 Nov. 2018 Fires today burn hotter and faster because so much of the furnishings and other contents in today’s buildings are made of plastics. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "Fire departments fight a culture that saves — and costs — lives," 13 July 2018 A month earlier, Malibu, Calif. banned a host of single-use plastics including straws. Marc Daalder, Detroit Free Press, "MGM Grand Detroit to ditch use of plastic straws," 10 July 2018 The researchers studied 28 years of data from the United Nations' Comtrade database to measure exports of plastics to China, which processed much of the waste and turned it into new products. NBC News, "With China saying no to plastic waste, the world needs a new plan," 25 June 2018 But in the case of disposable plastics, activists insist that every choice carries weight. Amanda Paulson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Rethinking disposable straws – for the sake of the oceans," 8 June 2018 That took me a few minutes, as did pulling all of the plastic away. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About The Casper Wave Mattress," 11 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Transfer all but 1/4 cup to resealable plastic bag and marinate skirt steak at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Grilled Tequila Steak Tacos," 6 May 2019 In an operation worthy of James Bond, a British officer snuck into the Vladimir palace dressed as a worker and stashed all the hidden jewels into plastic bags. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Catherine the Great's Emerald Is for Sale—And Queen Elizabeth Has Jewels from the Same Collection," 2 May 2019 State lawmakers in New York on Sunday approved a ban on plastic bags at retail and grocery establishments that would take effect next year as part of the state’s budget. Tawnell D. Hobbs, WSJ, "New York Passes a Plastic-Bag Ban," 1 Apr. 2019 Choosing the right fabrics is one: Natural, sustainably made, or deadstock fabrics are drastically better than synthetics like polyester and acrylic (which are basically plastic, FYI). Emily Farra, Vogue, "4 Ways the CFDA’s New Sustainability Report Will Change Your Fashion Week Conversations," 16 Jan. 2019 The brain is especially plastic early in life, such that our experiences as children have disproportionate influences on our long-term biology and physiology. Dylan Gee, Vox, "I study kids who were separated from their parents. The trauma could change their brains forever.," 20 June 2018 The balls used in the studio look to be just plastic, so the 53-year-old Ripken wasn't hurt and the team in the studio had a good time with the situation. Jesse Yomtov, USA TODAY, "That's gotta hurt! Bill Ripken gets hit in the face with Sean Casey line drive on MLB Network," 22 May 2018 It's also believed that the incident started after Clemson resented being charged $0.50 for plastic cutlery. Christopher Harress, AL.com, "'Our women will be killed,' warns Al Sharpton at Alabama event," 2 May 2018 But the company has not completely repudiated its heritage — the chairs legs are still plastic. 2. New York Times, "Where Is Design Going?," 2 May 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

20 May 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 How to pronounce plastic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce plastic (audio) \

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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