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  1. not elastic; lacking flexibility or resilience; unyielding.
  2. Economics. relatively unresponsive to changes, as demand when it fails to increase in proportion to a decrease in price.Compare elastic(def 6).
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Origin of inelastic

First recorded in 1740–50; in-3 + elastic
Related formsin·e·las·tic·i·ty [in-i-la-stis-i-tee] /ˌɪn ɪ læˈstɪs ɪ ti/, noun

Synonyms for inelastic

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for inelastic

inflexible, rigid, stable, stiff, unbending, unyielding, inductile, inextensible, unadaptable

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Historical Examples of inelastic

British Dictionary definitions for inelastic


  1. not elastic; not resilient
  2. physics (of collisions) involving an overall decrease in translational kinetic energy
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Derived Formsinelastically, adverbinelasticity (ˌɪnɪlæsˈtɪsɪtɪ), noun
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 inelastic


1748, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + elastic. Figurative use attested by 1867.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper