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

The phrase ’80s music usually garners a near-immediate sonic and aesthetic rendering: synths, big hair, questionably large vocals, and probably leather and spandex. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "18 '80s Songs That Will Never Get Old," 28 Aug. 2019 He was also outfitted with a fat suit made of polyurethane foam covered in spandex. Mike Miller,, "The Most Amazing On-Screen Transformations — from Charlize Theron to Tom Hanks," 21 Aug. 2019 The workout dress is thoughtfully lined with UnderAir shorts for complete coverage on the bottom, while the nylon and spandex material works to create a comfortable fit throughout the torso and chest. Christie Calucchia,, "I Tried the Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress That Sold Out in Just One Week—and I Actually Liked It," 20 Aug. 2019 The California cool girls, clad in ab-revealing spandex, followed up their sculpting session by refueling with smoothies and two takes on an effortless beauty strategy. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber Have a Twinning Hair Moment Post-Pilates," 19 Aug. 2019 Their empire may supply your toilet paper, the beef for your steaks, and the spandex in your workout clothes. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "This is the Koch Brothers empire," 23 Aug. 2019 She was involved in the development of spandex (LycraⓇ). Dan Samorodnitsky, Smithsonian, "You Can Thank Chemist Stephanie Kwolek for Bulletproof Vests and Yoga Pants," 21 Aug. 2019 Ali Goldstein/Netflix For the past two seasons, GLOW has been the most fun series on Netflix, finding joy in everything from neon spandex to clumsy wrestling. Pilot Viruet, Vox, "GLOW season 3 loses some of its trademark fun amid all the bloat," 13 Aug. 2019 And so the piece of spandex on the back of my phone survives another day. Joanna Stern, WSJ, "End of the Wallet: Phone-Based Driver’s Licenses and MetroCards Are Put to the Test," 27 June 2019

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

11 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for spandex

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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concealment of treason or felony

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