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

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

Even better, the jacket is part of Everlane’s ReNew line that replaces traditional synthetic fabric with an extra-cozy sustainable fabric that’s made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "Everlane's ReNew Puffer With a 38,000 Person Waitlist Is Back in Stock," 29 Oct. 2018 The sustainable fashion brand also launched a collection made from recycled plastic bottles. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Burberry, H&M, L'Oreal and More Sign on to Address Global Plastic Crisis," 29 Oct. 2018 Using this duo prevented eight plastic bottles from being made and disposed of. Meirav Devash, Allure, "I Tried a Sustainable Beauty Routine for a Month to See How Easy It Is to Go Green," 15 Oct. 2018 The uniforms are eco-friendly, too: The polyester yarn comes from recycled plastic bottles. Condé Nast Traveler, "The Most Stylish Flight Attendant Uniforms," 15 Oct. 2018 Stars like Claire Danes literally lit up the ball in a glowing gown, while Emma Watson wore a five-piece Calvin Klein Collection set which was made of recycled plastic bottles. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "21 Years of Met Gala Themes: A Look Back at Many First Mondays in May," 9 Oct. 2018 Unlike metal, plastic, and other traditional materials for tech devices, leather comes from a dead cow. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "The HP Spectre Folio is a leather-clad laptop that's luxurious," 1 Oct. 2018 Volunteers are handing out plastic bottles to keep people hydrated throughout the morning. azcentral, "Arizonans protest immigration policy at Families Belong Together marches," 30 June 2018 And fittingly, it's shipped in a plastic-free package with biodegradable packing peanuts, to further promote the brand's mission to reduce our carbon footprint. refinery29.com, "Lush's New $8 Jelly Bomb Will Turn Your Tub Into A Tropical Beach," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Swartz highlighted Hasbro’s retractable plastic claws for Marvel’s Black Panther, an item featured on this year’s list. Philip Marcelo, The Seattle Times, "The “worst toys” for the holidays, according to safety group," 13 Nov. 2018 The 21-year-old singer pulls up to a tiny Mexican spot in Ridgewood, Queens—the kind with plastic flowers on the tables and Spanish soap operas chattering on the TV—in a bombshell look. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Get to Know Dounia Tazi, a Fashion Nova–Loving Modern Day Bombshell," 12 Nov. 2018 Just as smartphones started off with plastic resistive displays and stylus input, before the iPhone showed that capacitive touch on glass was the future, this foldable era will include compromises before the technology advances. Tom Warren, The Verge, "The foldable phones are coming," 8 Nov. 2018 Freezing temperatures will shorten the life of anything plastic. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Winterize Your Pool," 25 Oct. 2018 This structured mound of plastic parts that looks like a pile of high-design jacks. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Robots built this wild plastic pavilion," 28 Sep. 2018 Think about it: a plastic flamingo donning a waddle and autumnal plumage could cause someone to mistake it for an actual turkey. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "You Can't Be In A Fowl Mood After Seeing These Thanksgiving Flamingos," 28 Sep. 2018 Cut bead about 1-2 inches long with X-Acto or plastic clay knife. Sarah Newell, Seventeen, "11 Ridiculously Awesome DIY Gifts for Your BFFs," 12 Sep. 2018 With a perception in modern society that plastic is for throwing away, plastic objects often aren’t designed with longevity as a goal. Alex Wong, National Geographic, "The Race to Save Historic Plastic Artifacts," 31 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

18 Nov 2018

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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