Definition of elastic in English:


Line breaks: elas|tic
Pronunciation: /ɪˈlastɪk


  • 1(Of an object or material) able to resume its normal shape spontaneously after being stretched or compressed: a tourniquet of rubber tubing or other elastic material is placed around the upper arm
    More example sentences
    • The separation between these two kinds of world is not a division into two parts set in isolation from one another but more like a stretching of an elastic material in two directions.
    • Braces are made from combinations of metal, foam, plastic, elastic material, and straps.
    • I saw him examining fallen leaves, a freshly-painted door, and the way in which an elastic fabric deformed when stretched.
  • 2Able to encompass much variety and change; flexible and adaptable: the definition of nationality is elastic in this cosmopolitan country
    More example sentences
    • Its ramifications are contentious, and the principle's formulation is sufficiently elastic to accommodate a variety of constructions.
    • The concept of ‘sectarian balance’ is equally elastic and carries a variety of meanings.
    • Special relativity showed that time is elastic, flexible.
    adaptable, flexible, adjustable, pliant, compliant, accommodating, malleable, variable, fluid, versatile, conformable
    informal easy
  • 3 Economics (Of demand or supply) sensitive to changes in price or income: the labour supply is very elastic
    More example sentences
    • Thus, the imperfectly competing firms faced a more elastic demand for their services than would a monopoly railroad.
    • In the case of perfect competition where there is no market power, a firm's supply changes will have no effect on the price, and the residual demand is perfectly elastic.
    • They attempt to price (other things being equal) such that the range of demand above the asking price is elastic.
  • 4 Physics (Of a collision) involving no decrease of kinetic energy.
    More example sentences
    • The concept of Newtonian elastic collisions among molecules of a gas suffices to bind together in one theory the empirical laws of Boyle, Charles, and Graham.
    • Molecules are very hard spheres that bounce off each other without losing energy in encounters called elastic collisions.
    • Fourth, as the gas particles collide with each other or with the wall of a container, their collisions are perfectly elastic.


[mass noun] Back to top  
  • Cord, tape, or fabric, woven with strips of rubber, which returns to its original length or shape after being stretched: a polythene bag tied with elastic
    More example sentences
    • I know too, that nylon and stretch elastic, cast aside by fishermen, catches around seabirds' legs and either slowly kills or maims them.
    • After doing some research, I discovered the answer: The dryer was destroying the rubber elastic in the socks and underwear.
    • White rubber elastic is strong and stable and is commonly used in competitive swim-suits.



More example sentences
  • In ‘better’ times, the workload of handling criminals was handed over to the police, whose powers would elastically expand to accommodate accelerating crime trends.
  • However, if the ball is pressed hard against the disk, then the plate deforms elastically, as shown by the characteristic horseshoe-shaped interference pattern.
  • Moreover, the elastically constrained displacements are significant on the scale of the network's internodal distance of ~ 60-80 nm.


Pronunciation: /ɪˈlastɪsʌɪz/
(also elasticise) verb
More example sentences
  • Bright little beads are cropping up everywhere: in small elasticized bracelets, worn a dozen at a time; sewn into collars and bags and the edges of sweaters.
  • A fundamental problem in elasticizing accountability is that the instruments that fund the participation of voluntary organizations in collaboration, or in work delegated, are ill suited to the task.
  • Crafted with a blend of lightweight cotton and nylon, they feature plenty of pocket space, a sturdy elasticized drawstring and classic white styling.


mid 17th century (originally describing a gas in the sense 'expanding spontaneously to fill the available space'): from modern Latin elasticus, from Greek elastikos 'propulsive', from elaunein 'to drive'.

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