plasticity

noun
plas·​tic·​i·​ty | \ pla-ˈsti-sə-tē How to pronounce plasticity (audio) \

Definition of plasticity

1 : the quality or state of being plastic especially : capacity for being molded or altered
2 : the ability to retain a shape attained by pressure deformation
3 : the capacity of organisms with the same genotype to vary in developmental pattern, in phenotype, or in behavior according to varying environmental conditions
4 : the capacity for continuous alteration of the neural pathways and synapses of the living brain and nervous system in response to experience or injury

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Synonyms for plasticity

Synonyms

malleability

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Examples of plasticity in a Sentence

we chose that type of clay for its greater plasticity

Recent Examples on the Web

Through their own research, the Ilinetskys found a physical-therapy program called NeuroMovement, which purports to cultivate brain plasticity. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "The Perverse Logic of GoFundMe Health Care," 24 June 2019 Others maintain that plasticity acts to slow down evolution. Starre Vartan, National Geographic, "Meet the shape-shifting baby amphibians that become cannibals," 26 June 2019 Moseley and his colleagues believe, however, that thanks to the inherent plasticity of our neural networks, a brain that becomes oversensitized can, over time, relearn normal sensitivity. Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, Discover Magazine, "These Researchers Think We Can Retrain Our Brains to Tame Chronic Pain," 30 May 2019 The answer to this matters, especially given recent findings about neural plasticity within the brain. David P. Barash, WSJ, "‘Becoming Human’ Review: The Defining Neediness of Humans," 11 Jan. 2019 In the central nervous system, plasticity is related to time. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Spinal implants help treat paralysis but aren’t ready for primetime," 3 Nov. 2018 Children are in the processes of physical, emotional and behavioral development and can be expected to have more plasticity or flexibility in their functioning. Andrea K. Mcdaniels, baltimoresun.com, "Treat pain in children differently than adults," 3 May 2018 Nevertheless, this is a provocative study that links early experience with the genetic structure of neurons, and that highlights the remarkable plasticity and adaptability of the brain. Robert Martone, Scientific American, "Early Life Experience: It’s in Your DNA," 10 July 2018 Children have greater potential for neurological, cognitive, emotional and behavioral plasticity. Andrea K. Mcdaniels, baltimoresun.com, "Treat pain in children differently than adults," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plasticity.' 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 plasticity

1727, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for plasticity

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plasticity

The first known use of plasticity was in 1727

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More Definitions for plasticity

plasticity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of plasticity

technical : the quality of being able to be made into different shapes

plasticity

noun
plas·​tic·​i·​ty | \ pla-ˈstis-ət-ē How to pronounce plasticity (audio) \
plural plasticities

Medical Definition of plasticity

1 : the quality or state of being plastic especially : capacity for being molded or altered
2 : the ability to retain a shape attained by pressure deformation
3 : the capacity of organisms with the same genotype to vary in developmental pattern, in phenotype, or in behavior according to varying environmental conditions
4 : the capacity for continuous alteration of the neural pathways and synapses of the living brain and nervous system in response to experience or injury that involves the formation of new pathways and synapses and the elimination or modification of existing ones

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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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