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

Elsa Schiaparelli was an early adopter, using plastic zippers for decorative effect in the early 1930s. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Inspired by Craig Green’s Fall 2019 Lineup, a Look at Fantastic Plastics in Fashion," 7 Jan. 2019 Bangladesh has been reportedly ranked 10th out of the top 20 plastic polluters in the world. Kainaz Amaria, Vox, "2018, explained in pictures by women and non-binary photographers," 21 Dec. 2018 There’s a bonus for the eco-conscious traveler: The government is banning all styrofoam imports and single-use plastics. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "The Best Places to Travel in 2019," 7 Dec. 2018 Even while running a cheapo plastic fork through her very expensive wig, Cardi seems to be in good spirits about the whole thing. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Cardi B Brushed Her Hair With a Plastic Fork, and She's Not Mad About It," 16 Oct. 2018 That disconnect between the goods inside and the unsavories outside led the women on a year-long quest to further their plastic-free mission. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "This All-Natural Skin-Care Line Comes in the Most Striking Glass Apothecary Bottles Yet," 12 Dec. 2018 Great for our faces, bad for that piece of plastic in our wallets. Glamour, "Ulta's Holiday Beauty Blitz Sale Is Offering Different Deals Each Day," 12 Dec. 2018 That means a stylish, minimalist exterior, featuring aluminum yokes, a steel headband, and a lot of high-quality plastic. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Microsoft Surface Headphones review: all the style without the polish," 15 Nov. 2018 The cutting set, which includes a toy knife made out of rigid plastic, is made for children who are older than 2. Philip Marcelo, The Seattle Times, "The “worst toys” for the holidays, according to safety group," 13 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 To shower, some people would go out in the open and draw water from plastic water tanks. Annette Lin, Teen Vogue, "Migrant Caravan Teens Talk About What It's Like to Get Your Period," 20 Dec. 2018 The time of natural firs has ended, long live their plastic successors! Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Fake Christmas Trees Are the Future and That's a Good Thing for Everyone—and Their Carpets," 18 Dec. 2018 Thousands of years from now, the plastic action figures will be dug up by future archaeologists who will rack their brains trying to unravel their significance. Steve Brykman, Ars Technica, "Forget Fortnite—my son is still obsessed with Minecraft," 16 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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Learn More about plastic

Statistics for plastic

Last Updated

14 Jan 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

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of plastic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: made or consisting of plastic

: not real or sincere

: capable of being made into different shapes

plastic

noun

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

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

: a credit card when used for payment

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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