[ ih-las-tik ]
See synonyms for: elasticelastics on Thesaurus.com

  1. capable of returning to its original length, shape, etc., after being stretched, deformed, compressed, or expanded: an elastic waistband; elastic fiber.

  2. spontaneously expansive, as gases.

  1. flexible; accommodating; adaptable; tolerant: elastic rules and regulations.

  2. springing back or rebounding; springy: He walks with an elastic step.

  3. readily recovering from depression or exhaustion; buoyant: an elastic temperament.

  4. Economics. relatively responsive to change, as to a proportionate increase in demand as the result of a decrease in price.: Compare inelastic (def. 2).

  5. Physics. of, relating to, or noting a body having the property of elasticity.

  1. webbing, or material in the form of a band, made elastic, as with strips of rubber.

  2. something made from this material, as a garter.

Origin of elastic

1645–55; <New Latin elasticus expanding spontaneously, equivalent to Greek elast(ós) (late variant of elatós ductile, beaten (of metal), derivative of elaúnein, elân beat out, forge) + -icus-ic

Other words for elastic

Opposites for elastic

Other words from elastic

  • e·las·ti·cal·ly, adverb
  • non·e·las·tic, adjective
  • non·e·las·ti·cal·ly, adverb
  • sem·i·e·las·tic, adjective
  • sem·i·e·las·ti·cal·ly, adverb
  • su·per·e·las·tic, adjective
  • su·per·e·las·ti·cal·ly, adverb
  • un·e·las·tic, adjective
  • un·e·las·ti·cal·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use elastic in a sentence

  • The elastically talented Amy Poehler will likely surprise us one day by winning serious acclaim.

    The Stars Predict Your Week | Starsky + Cox | September 10, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Mrs. Gaunt was walking elastically, and discoursing with great fire and animation.

  • In a Gothic vault the infilling, or web, rested elastically on the diagonal ribs.

    How France Built Her Cathedrals | Elizabeth Boyle O'Reilly
  • He began to listen curiously to the splash of the oars as they marked time and the boat rode the waves elastically.

    The Ordeal | Charles Egbert Craddock
  • He turned sideways and slipped his bulk through the aperture, the board swinging elastically back into place.

    The Ordeal | Charles Egbert Craddock
  • It might have been these, elastically yielding, that had saved the lifeboat from total ruin.

    West Of The Sun | Edgar Pangborn

British Dictionary definitions for elastic


/ (ɪˈlæstɪk) /

  1. (of a body or material) capable of returning to its original shape after compression, expansion, stretching, or other deformation

  2. capable of adapting to change: an elastic schedule

  1. quick to recover from fatigue, dejection, etc; buoyant

  2. springy or resilient: an elastic walk

  3. (of gases) capable of expanding spontaneously

  4. physics (of collisions) involving no overall change in translational kinetic energy

  5. made of elastic

  1. tape, cord, or fabric containing interwoven strands of flexible rubber or similar substance allowing it to stretch and return to its original shape

  2. mainly US and Canadian something made of elastic, such as a rubber band or a garter

Origin of elastic

C17: from New Latin elasticus impulsive, from Greek elastikos, from elaunein to beat, drive

Derived forms of elastic

  • elastically, adverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012