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

Single-use plastics may currently be out of vogue with green groups. C.r., The Economist, "The owner of Holiday Inn becomes the first hotel group to axe plastic bathroom miniatures," 30 July 2019 Highlighting the importance in protecting this magic by cleaning up our oceans and finding an alternative for single use plastics. Andrea Romano, Sunset Magazine, "Watch This Spectacular Video of a Massive “Stampede” of Dolphins Near Laguna Beach," 30 July 2019 For environmentalists, plastic straws have become a potent symbol for the toxic and persistent scourge of single-use plastic—an everyday item that can be easily eliminated from use, not unlike the plastic bag. Jenni Avins, Quartz, "Donald Trump’s latest weapon in the culture wars: a red plastic straw," 20 July 2019 To accomplish this, we were each provided with our own set of bamboo cutlery, including a straw and chopsticks, among other reusable items that would stand in for single-use plastics. Ali Wunderman, Condé Nast Traveler, "What I Learned on the World's First Zero-Waste Trip," 19 July 2019 But the optics of druglike syringes littering the fair grounds and the impact of single-use plastics drew complaints. USA TODAY, "Glowing rock fight, Statehouse stash, hometown hero: News from around our 50 states," 15 July 2019 Refuse Styrofoam containers, and one-use plastic or foam cups. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "Tips To Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, And Refuse," 15 July 2019 And sure, reusable straws and avoiding single-use plastics are good ideas — but our utility power and energy mix is one of the major factors that will ultimately make a dent in mitigating the damaging effects of climate change. CNN Underscored, "Arcadia Power is making renewable energy more accessible and affordable," 28 June 2019 Please people, do not use single use plastic and do not litter! Christina Maxouris, CNN, "A Florida park is asking visitors to pick up their trash after video of a gator munching on plastic," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Well, one 18-year-old high-achiever's science fair project has put us all to shame, and may have found a solution to one of the world's biggest problems: The tiny bits of plastic waste that are choking our oceans. Drew Kann, CNN, "Seesaws, a priceless ring and an incredible science fair project," 3 Aug. 2019 The cross-border disposal of waste became a major regional issue after China, previously its main destination, barred imports of almost all foreign plastic waste early last year. Washington Post, "Cambodia fines waste importer, sets deadline for its return," 31 July 2019 The fight to save the seas from plastic waste may mean the end for mini bottles of shampoo and other toiletries that hotel guests love to stuff into their luggage. Danica Kirka, chicagotribune.com, "The owner of Holiday Inn is ditching mini shampoos," 30 July 2019 The global trash trade reached a turning point early last year when China, once the world’s biggest receiver of plastic waste, banned its import. Hillary Leung, Time, "Sri Lankans Ask the U.K. to Take Back Rotten Waste," 25 July 2019 While the 1,600 tons of trash contained only plastic waste, electronic waste has been a growing concern for officials in Cambodia. Fox News, "Cambodia to return 1,600 tons of waste back to the US, Canada," 19 July 2019 In fact, the U.S. is a leading exporter of plastic waste. Anna M. Phillips, latimes.com, "Few of Trump’s environmental claims stand up to scrutiny," 8 July 2019 Most importantly for anyone who is attempting to reduce their plastic waste, Sunski is a member of the business sustainability nonprofit 1% for the Planet, which was founded by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard. Adrienne So, WIRED, "The Best Sunglasses for Every Outdoor Occasion," 5 July 2019 Canadian builders have created a new way to turn plastic waste into environmentally friendly housing. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "This House Is Made from 600,000 Recycled Plastic Water Bottles," 27 June 2019

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

12 Aug 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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