[ ih-la-stis-i-tee, ee-la-stis- ]
/ ɪ læˈstɪs ɪ ti, ˌi læˈstɪs- /


the state or quality of being elastic.
flexibility; resilience; adaptability: a statement with a great elasticity of meaning.
buoyancy; ability to resist or overcome depression.
Physics. the property of a substance that enables it to change its length, volume, or shape in direct response to a force effecting such a change and to recover its original form upon the removal of the force.

Nearby words

  1. elastic strain,
  2. elastic tissue,
  3. elastic wave,
  4. elasticate,
  5. elasticin,
  6. elasticize,
  7. elasticized,
  8. elastin,
  9. elastofibroma,
  10. elastoid degeneration

Origin of elasticity

First recorded in 1655–65; elastic + -ity

Related formsnon·e·las·tic·i·ty, nounun·e·las·tic·i·ty, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for elasticity

British Dictionary definitions for elasticity


/ (ɪlæˈstɪsɪtɪ, ˌiːlæ-) /


the property of a body or substance that enables it to resume its original shape or size when a distorting force is removedSee also elastic limit
the state or quality of being elastic; flexibility or buoyancy
a measure of the sensitivity of demand for goods or services to changes in price or other marketing variables, such as advertising
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

Word Origin and History for elasticity



1660s; see elastic + -ity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for elasticity


[ ĭ-lă-stĭsĭ-tē, ē′lă- ]


The condition or property of being elastic; flexibility.
The property of returning to an initial form or state following deformation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for elasticity


[ ĭ-lă-stĭsĭ-tē ]

The ability of a solid to return to its original shape or form after being subject to strain. Most solid materials display elasticity, up to a load point called the elastic limit; loads higher than this limit cause permanent deformation of the material. See also Hooke's law.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for elasticity


A shift in either demand or supply of a good or service depending on its price. Demand is said to be elastic when it responds quickly to changes in prices, and inelastic when it responds sluggishly.

The property of a material that allows it to return to its original shape after having been deformed and to exert a force while deformed. (See stress.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.