[ thur-muh-plas-tik ]
/ ˌθɜr məˈplæs tɪk /


soft and pliable when heated, as some plastics, without any change of the inherent properties.


a plastic of this type.

Nearby words

  1. thermophore,
  2. thermophosphorescence,
  3. thermophylic,
  4. thermopile,
  5. thermoplacentography,
  6. thermoplastics,
  7. thermoplegia,
  8. thermopylae,
  9. thermoreceptor,
  10. thermoregulate

Origin of thermoplastic

First recorded in 1880–85; thermo- + plastic

Related formsther·mo·plas·tic·i·ty [thur-moh-pla-stis-i-tee] /ˌθɜr moʊ plæˈstɪs ɪ ti/, nounnon·ther·mo·plas·tic, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for thermoplastic


/ (ˌθɜːməʊˈplæstɪk) /


(of a material, esp a synthetic plastic or resin) becoming soft when heated and rehardening on cooling without appreciable change of propertiesCompare thermosetting


a synthetic plastic or resin, such as polystyrene, with these properties
Derived Formsthermoplasticity (ˌθɜːməʊplæˈstɪsɪtɪ), 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 thermoplastic



1883, see thermo- + plastic. As a noun from 1929.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for thermoplastic


[ thûr′mə-plăstĭk ]

Of or relating to a compound that can be repeatedly made soft and hard through heating and cooling. Polyethylene and polystyrene are thermoplastic resins. Compare thermosetting.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.