plastic

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Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective plastic contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of plastic are adaptable, ductile, malleable, pliable, and pliant. While all these words mean "susceptible of being modified in form or nature," plastic applies to substances soft enough to be molded yet capable of hardening into the desired fixed form.

plastic materials allow the sculptor greater freedom

In what contexts can adaptable take the place of plastic?

While in some cases nearly identical to plastic, adaptable implies the capability of being easily modified to suit other conditions, needs, or uses.

computer hardware that is adaptable

When can ductile be used instead of plastic?

The words ductile and plastic can be used in similar contexts, but ductile applies to what can be drawn out or extended with ease.

ductile metals such as copper

When is it sensible to use malleable instead of plastic?

Although the words malleable and plastic have much in common, malleable applies to what may be pressed or beaten into shape.

the malleable properties of gold

When would pliable be a good substitute for plastic?

The meanings of pliable and plastic largely overlap; however, pliable suggests something easily bent, folded, twisted, or manipulated.

pliable rubber tubing

When might pliant be a better fit than plastic?

The words pliant and plastic are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, pliant may stress flexibility and sometimes connote springiness.

an athletic shoe with a pliant sole

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Cite this Entry

“Plastic.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/plastic. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

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