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

The testimony by Ramirez Abadia, known for radically altering his face through plastic surgery, came during the third week of the trial in federal court in Brooklyn. Tom Hays, The Seattle Times, "‘El Chapo’ consort opens up about cartels’ ruthlessness," 4 Dec. 2018 Cher and Parton have also been open and unapologetic about their plastic surgery. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "The problem with Bradley Cooper asking Lady Gaga to go makeup-free in A Star Is Born," 9 Oct. 2018 What’s driving all these men to get plastic surgery? Nadra Nittle, Vox, "More and more men are getting plastic surgery. A doctor explains why.," 12 Sep. 2018 Getty Images Vaginal reconstruction might seem like the most frivolous of plastic surgeries. Marie Claire, "What It's Really Like to Have Vaginal Reconstructive Surgery," 24 June 2015 The only surgeon who has attempted to do nerve-transfer surgeries in the legs of AFM patients is Amy Moore, an associate professor in plastic surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, "Another Burst of Polio-Like Cases in Children Alarms Doctors," 5 Nov. 2018 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 Still, the culture surrounding plastic surgery remains hush-hush. Elissa Strauss, Glamour, "The Changing Face of Beauty In America," 8 Oct. 2018 Which types of men are most likely to get plastic surgery and why? Nadra Nittle, Vox, "More and more men are getting plastic surgery. A doctor explains why.," 12 Sep. 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

Share plastic surgery

Statistics for plastic surgery

Last Updated

26 Jan 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).


esteemed in general opinion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!