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See more synonyms for inelastic on Thesaurus.com
  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


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

Examples from the Web for inelasticity

Historical Examples

  • The subsequent changes then produce thickening and inelasticity.

    Arteriosclerosis and Hypertension:

    Louis Marshall Warfield

  • The inelasticity of it hampered sociability—and there grew on one, too, a sense of unfitness.

  • As the body ages, certain changes usually take place in the arteries leading to thickening and inelasticity of their walls.

    Arteriosclerosis and Hypertension:

    Louis Marshall Warfield

  • The most frequent criticism by immigrant leaders interviewed is the inelasticity of the public-school methods.

    New Homes for Old

    Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge

  • Inelasticity, too, in the forms of currency most needed for small transactions, has made very real difficulties for us.

    The Value of Money

    Benjamin M. Anderson, Jr.

British Dictionary definitions for inelasticity


  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 inelasticity



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper