plastic surgery


Definition of plastic surgery

: a branch of concerned with improving the function or appearance of parts of the body through reconstructive or cosmetic medical procedures also : a procedure performed for such a purpose

Note: Reconstructive plastic surgery deals mainly with the surgical repair or restoration of an injured, lost, diseased, defective, or misshapen part or area. It typically involves the grafting of tissue (such as skin or cartilage) from one part of the body to another. Cosmetic or aesthetic plastic surgery focuses on enhancing appearance and includes surgical procedures (such as blepharoplasty, rhinoplasty, and breast augmentation) as well as nonsurgical procedures (such as chemical peels and botulinum toxin injections).

Examples of plastic surgery in a Sentence

He needed plastic surgery on his face after the car accident.

Recent Examples on the Web

In 2017, a plastic surgery task force reported that three percent of plastic surgeons who performed the procedure had a patient die. Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Is A Brazilian Butt Lift?," 28 July 2019 Kyle, Dorit, and Erika defend themselves against tabloid headlines and questions about plastic surgery and more, while Lisa opens up about her possible issues with food. Ew Staff,, "What to Watch on Tuesday: Camille goes after Kyle and Teddi at the Beverly Hills Housewives reunion," 23 July 2019 He is joined by his wife Connie, and Binh Nguyen, MD, a surgeon specializing in aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery at the TriHealth Cosmetic Surgery & Rejuvenation Center, who saved James' leg with the use of reconstructive surgery. Trihealth,, "Health talk podcast: Healing through reconstructive surgery," 19 July 2019 There was the drugs-and-disfigurement narrative, represented by Elvis Presley and by every aging woman star mocked for addiction problems and plastic surgeries. Margo Jefferson, Harper's magazine, "Lost Boy," 24 June 2019 Since rising to superstardom after winning American Idol in 2005, the singer has been shamed for wearing makeup to a soccer game, criticized for her singing, and even accused of getting plastic surgery on her face. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Carrie Underwood Just Shut Down an Internet Troll Who Criticized Her Son Isaiah," 27 Mar. 2019 Rosser underwent plastic surgery and liposuction and used assumed names and fake passports to travel to Europe, Spain and France before taking a cruise ship back to Thailand, DeBrota said. Amy Beth Hanson, The Seattle Times, "First-ever child porn suspect on FBI list pleads guilty," 16 Oct. 2018 The daughter was bitten in the face and needed plastic surgery, while the mother was bitten on the leg, according to police. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mother and daughter bitten, one in the face, by dog released by a landlord in South Milwaukee," 27 June 2018 Every major advance in plastic surgery has happened with war. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Brainstorm Health: Growing an Ear in an Arm, Pot and Pregnant Women, Health App Effectiveness," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plastic surgery.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of plastic surgery

circa 1837, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plastic surgery

Statistics for plastic surgery

Last Updated

24 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plastic surgery

The first known use of plastic surgery was circa 1837

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for plastic surgery

plastic surgery


English Language Learners Definition of plastic surgery

: surgery that improves or repairs the form or appearance of body parts

plastic surgery


Medical Definition of plastic surgery

: a branch of surgery concerned with the repair, restoration, or improvement of lost, injured, defective, or misshapen parts of the body chiefly by transfer of tissue also : an operation performed for such a purpose

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on plastic surgery

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plastic surgery

Spanish Central: Translation of plastic surgery

Nglish: Translation of plastic surgery for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about plastic surgery

Comments on plastic surgery

What made you want to look up plastic surgery? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a haphazard or makeshift solution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!