Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Easily resuming original shape after being stretched or expanded; flexible. See Synonyms at flexible.
  • adj. Springy; rebounding.
  • adj. Physics Returning to or capable of returning to an initial form or state after deformation.
  • adj. Quick to recover, as from disappointment: an elastic spirit.
  • adj. Capable of adapting to change or a variety of circumstances.
  • n. A flexible stretchable fabric made with interwoven strands of rubber or an imitative synthetic fiber.
  • n. An object made of this fabric.
  • n. A rubber band.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Capable of stretching; particularly, capable of stretching so as to return to an original shape or size when force is released.
  • adj. Made of elastic.
  • adj. Of clothing, elasticated.
  • adj. Sensitive to changes in price.
  • adj. springy; bouncy; vivacious
  • n. An elastic material used in clothing, particularly in waistbands and cuffs.
  • n. An elastic band.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Springing back; having a power or inherent property of returning to the form from which a substance is bent, drawn, pressed, or twisted; springy; having the power of rebounding
  • adj. Able to return quickly to a former state or condition, after being depressed or overtaxed; having power to recover easily from shocks and trials
  • n. An elastic woven fabric, as a belt, braces or suspenders, etc., made in part of India rubber.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Serving, as a catapult, to hurl missiles by the force of a spring.
  • Having, as a solid body, the power of returning to the form from which it is bent, extended, pressed, pulled, or distorted, as soon as the force applied is removed; having, as a fluid, the property of recovering its former volume after compression.
  • Figuratively Admitting of extension; capable of expanding and contracting, according to circumstances; hence, yielding and accommodating: as, an elastic conscience; elastic principles.
  • Possessing the power or quality of recovering from depression or exhaustion; able to resist a depressing or exhausting influence; capable of sustaining shocks without permanent injury: as, elastic spirits.
  • n. A piece or strip of india-rubber, or of webbing or belting made elastic by the incorporation of india-rubber, used as a band, garter, or the like. [U. S.]

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a fabric made of yarns containing an elastic material
  • n. a narrow band of elastic rubber used to hold things (such as papers) together
  • adj. able to adjust readily to different conditions
  • adj. capable of resuming original shape after stretching or compression; springy

Etymologies

New Latin elasticus, from Late Greek elastos, beaten, ductile, variant of Greek elatos, from elaunein, to beat out.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From New Latin elasticus ("elastic"), from Ancient Greek as if * ἐλαστής (elastēs) for ἐλατής (elatēs), equiv. to ἐλατήρ (elatēr, "a driver, hurler"), from ἐλαύνειν (elaunein, "to drive, set in motion, push, strike, beat out"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • There's a want of what I call elastic power in your mind, Catherine -- the very quality for which your father was so remarkable; the very quality which Mr. Presty used to say made him envy Mr. Norman.

    The Evil Genius

  • Light streamed among them, reaching outward in elastic fields of energy.

    Archive 2010-04-01

  • The big question that drives this is, for RPGs in general, and for a given product, how elastic is the price curve really?

    So What Is A “Fair” Price For A Gaming PDF? « Geek Related

  • At the friendly neighborhood non-corporate thrift store, we found an old lady dress in the perfect fabric and shape (I removed the shoulder pads, the polyester lining and the elastic from the waist) $3.

    2008 September « Bodhicitta

  • Each Moleskine notebook also has a built-in elastic closure that holds the sturdy cover closed a ribbon placeholder, and an expandable accordion pocket in the back made of cardboard for holding tickets, notes and clippings.

    Moleskine Daily Planner 2006

  • Her best satin pair was sprouting tiny ropes of elastic from the waistband.

    Excerpt: The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

  • If you know anything about economics, you know the terms elastic, inelastic, and luxury in reference to goods and services.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Politicians do understand that energy responds to what economists term elastic demand.

    McCook Daily Gazette Headlines

  • "ThosSpence: As usual your are factually and historically inaccurate about islam that preaches hate for all" non believers "(a term elastic enough to include some that claim other strains of the cult or some reluctance to engage in the extreme dictates of the likes of the Taliban when in power).

    News from www.pantagraph.com

  • Rock at that temperature is 'elastic' - it will actually flow.

    Doughy Pantload, lowering the bar yet again.

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