- able to spring back to its original size, shape, or position after being stretched, squeezed, flexed, expanded, etc.; flexible; springy
- able to recover easily from dejection, fatigue, etc.; buoyant: an elastic temperament
- readily changed or changing to suit circumstances; adaptable: elastic regulations
- Econ. responding to changes in price: said of the demand for, or supply of, particular goods or services
Origin of elasticModern Latin elasticus ; from Late Greek elastikos ; from Classical Greek elaunein, to set in motion, beat out ; from Indo-European base an unverified form el-, to drive, move, go from source uncertain or unknown; perhaps lane
- an elastic fabric made flexible by strands of rubber or a rubberlike synthetic running through it
- a band, garter, etc. of this material
- a rubber band
- a. Easily resuming original size or shape after being stretched or otherwise deformed; flexible. See Synonyms at flexible.b. Relating to a collision in which the total kinetic energy is conserved.
- Quick to recover, as from disappointment; resilient: an elastic spirit.
- Capable of being adapted to change or a variety of circumstances: “To say that morale is a highly unscientific and quite elastic concept would be an understatement” (Roger J. Spiller).
- Economics Of, relating to, or being a good for which changes in price have a large effect on the quantity demanded or supplied.
- a. A flexible stretchable fabric made with interwoven strands of rubber or an imitative synthetic fiber.b. An object made of this fabric.
- A rubber band.
Origin of elasticNew Latin elasticus, from Late Greek elastos, beaten, ductile, variant of Greek elatos, from elaunein, to beat out.
(comparative more elastic, superlative most elastic)
- Capable of stretching; particularly, capable of stretching so as to return to an original shape or size when force is released.
- The rope is somewhat elastic, so expect it to give when you pull on it.
- Made of elastic.
- elastic band
- Of clothing, elasticated.
- (economics) Sensitive to changes in price.
- Demand for entertainment is more elastic than demand for energy.
- springy; bouncy; vivacious
- 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
(countable and uncountable, plural elastics)
- (uncountable) An elastic material used in clothing, particularly in waistbands and cuffs.
- Running shorts use elastic to eliminate the need for a belt.
- (countable) An elastic band.
From French élastique, 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”).