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Alternative forms[edit]


From French élastique, from New Latin elasticus (elastic), from Ancient Greek ἐλαστός (elastós), alternative form of ἐλατός (elatós, ductile) (cf. ἐλατήρ (elatḗr, a driver, hurler)), from ἐλαύνω (elaúnō, to drive, set in motion, push, strike, beat out).


  • IPA(key): /iˈlæstɪk/, /əˈlæstɪk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æstɪk
  • Hyphenation: elas‧tic


elastic (comparative more elastic, superlative most elastic)

  1. Capable of stretching; particularly, capable of stretching so as to return to an original shape or size when force is released.
    • 1820, Encyclopaedia Britannica; Or A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature[1], volume 20, 6th edition, Edinburgh: Archibald Constable and Company, page 501:
      In trumpets for assisting the hearing, all reverbation of the trumpet must be avoided. It must be made thick, of the least elastic materials, and covered with cloth externally. For all reverbation lasts for a short time, and produces new sounds which mix with those which are coming in.
    The rope is somewhat elastic, so expect it to give when you pull on it.
  2. Made of elastic.
    elastic band
  3. Of clothing, elasticated.
  4. (economics) Sensitive to changes in price.
    Demand for entertainment is more elastic than demand for energy.
  5. springy; bouncy; vivacious
    • 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, chapter I, in The House Behind the Cedars:
      He could see that she was tastefully, though not richly, dressed, and that she walked with an elastic step that revealed a light heart and the vigor of perfect health. Her face, of course, he could not analyze, since he had caught only the one brief but convincing glimpse of it.
  6. Pervasive, all-encompassing.
    • 1834, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Francesca Carrara, volume 3, page 74:
      It was now about six o'clock, and that first freshness was on the air, which is to the day what youth is to life,—so light, so elastic, so sweet, and so brief:...
  7. Able to return quickly to a former state or condition, after being depressed or overtaxed; having power to recover easily from shocks and trials.
    elastic spirits; an elastic constitution



Derived terms[edit]



elastic (countable and uncountable, plural elastics)

  1. (uncountable) An elastic material used in clothing, particularly in waistbands and cuffs.
    running shorts use elastic to eliminate the need for a belt
  2. (countable) An elastic band.


Further reading[edit]




From French élastique.


elastic m or n (feminine singular elastică, masculine plural elastici, feminine and neuter plural elastice)

  1. elastic