span·​dex | \ ˈspan-ˌdeks How to pronounce spandex (audio) \

Definition of spandex

: any of various elastic textile fibers made chiefly of polyurethane also : clothing made of this material

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Did You Know?

Spandex is a fiber that has had an impact on fashion high and low, casual and formal, outer and under. It's not a trademark, as a number of the names of other fibers are, among them Dacron, Lycra, and Orlon. It's a generic term, coined in 1959 as an anagram of the word expands. Anagrammatic coinages are not common; the only other in our dictionaries that the average person is likely to be familiar with is sideburns. Sideburns is an anagram (and synonym) of burnsides, from Ambrose E. Burnside, a Union general in the American Civil War credited with originating the fashion (in the U.S., at least) also known as side-whiskers.

Examples of spandex in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Cue Adam Selman Sport, a unisex athleisure collection that officially replaces his kittenishly glamorous women’s line, which hit e-retailers last week with all the spandex gusto of a Jane Fonda video. Max Berlinger, WSJ, "With Adam Selman Sport, Rihanna’s Tour Designer Hits the Gym," 29 Jan. 2019 The Best Travel Underwear ExOfficio has made a name for itself with its ultra-quick-dry underwear, made from 93 percent nylon and 7 percent Lycra spandex. Kassondra Cloos, Outside Online, "The Best Women’s Active Outdoor Underwear," 6 July 2018 The polyester-spandex feels suppler than cotton and boasts four-way stretch, with accommodating leg openings and a just-right 7.5-inch length. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, "The Best Shorts for Men," 1 June 2018 After taking over street style and appearing on countless runways this season, the throwback spandex look hit the runways at Chanel, too. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Chanel Turned Its Runway Into a Beach—Complete With an Ocean and Lifeguards On Duty," 2 Oct. 2018 That existential tightness about me began to loosen even if the spandex did not. Matt Ortile, SELF, "Whenever My Life Feels Out of Control, I Go to Ballet Class," 16 Aug. 2018 She is seen wearing a spandex shorts jumpsuit that has a cut out on the top. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Wore a Bodysuit on Instagram," 15 Aug. 2018 Gone were the miniskirts, the leopard prints, the spandex, the bright 80s makeup. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "Fran Drescher Was Always Ahead of Her Time," 30 Aug. 2018 Read our affiliate link policy→ Arc’teryx Captive Polo Shirt ($50; 26 percent off) A blend of cotton, polyester, and spandex, the Captive is lightweight and quick drying. The Editors, Outside Online, "Sweet Deals on Gear That Will Help You Travel the World," 18 May 2018

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

1959, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for spandex

anagram of expands

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Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

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The first known use of spandex was in 1959

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English Language Learners Definition of spandex

: a material that stretches easily and is used especially to make sports clothing also : clothing made of this material

More from Merriam-Webster on spandex

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spandex Encyclopedia article about spandex

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