[ plas-tik ]
/ ˈplæs tɪk /



Nearby words

  1. plasterboard,
  2. plastered,
  3. plasterer,
  4. plastering,
  5. plasterwork,
  6. plastic art,
  7. plastic bomb,
  8. plastic bullet,
  9. plastic explosive,
  10. plastic flow

Origin of plastic

1625–35; 1900–10 for def 1; < Latin plasticus that may be molded < Greek plastikós. See -plast, -ic

Related formsplas·ti·cal·ly, plas·tic·ly, adverbnon·plas·tic, adjective, nounun·plas·tic, adjective


a combining form occurring in chloroplastic; protoplastic.

Origin of -plastic

see origin at plastic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for plastic

British Dictionary definitions for plastic


/ (ˈplæstɪk, ˈplɑːs-) /


any one of a large number of synthetic usually organic materials that have a polymeric structure and can be moulded when soft and then set, esp such a material in a finished state containing plasticizer, stabilizer, filler, pigments, etc. Plastics are classified as thermosetting (such as Bakelite) or thermoplastic (such as PVC) and are used in the manufacture of many articles and in coatings, artificial fibres, etcCompare resin (def. 2)
short for plastic money


Derived Formsplastically, adverb

Word Origin for plastic

C17: from Latin plasticus relating to moulding, from Greek plastikos, from plassein to form


adj combining form

growing or formingneoplastic

Word Origin for -plastic

from Greek plastikos; see plastic

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 plastic
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for plastic


[ plăstĭk ]


Capable of being shaped or formed.
Easily influenced; impressionable.
Capable of building tissue; formative.


Any of various organic compounds produced by polymerization, capable of being molded, extruded, cast into various shapes and films, or drawn into filaments used as textile fibers.
Related formsplas•tici•ty (plăs-tĭsĭ-tē) n.



Forming; growing; changing; developing:neoplastic.

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

Science definitions for plastic


[ plăstĭk ]


Any of numerous substances that can be shaped and molded when subjected to heat or pressure. Plastics are easily shaped because they consist of long-chain molecules known as polymers, which do not break apart when flexed. Plastics are usually artificial resins but can also be natural substances, as in certain cellular derivatives and shellac. Plastics can be pressed into thin layers, formed into objects, or drawn into fibers for use in textiles. Most do not conduct electricity well, are low in density, and are often very tough. Polyvinyl chloride, methyl methacrylate, and polystyrene are plastics. See more at thermoplastic thermosetting.


Capable of being molded or formed into a shape.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.