[elas.tic] adj [NL elasticus, fr. LGk elastos ductile, beaten, fr. Gk elaunein to drive, beat out; prob. akin to Gk elythe he went, OIr luid] (1674) 1 a of a solid: capable of recovering size and shape after deformation b: being a collision between particles in which the total kinetic energy of the particles remains unchanged
2: capable of recovering quickly esp. from depression or disappointment
3: capable of being easily stretched or expanded and resuming former shape: flexible
4. a: capable of ready change or easy expansion or contraction: not rigid or constricted b: receptive to new ideas: adaptable -- elas.ti.cal.ly adv syn elastic, resilient, springy, flexible, supple mean able to endure strain without being permanently injured. elastic implies the property of resisting deformation by stretching "an elastic waistband". resilient implies the ability to recover shape quickly when the deforming force or pressure is removed "a resilient innersole". springy stresses both the ease with which something yields to pressure and the quickness of its return to original shape "the cake is done when the top is springy". flexible applies to something which may or may not be resilient or elastic but which can be bent or folded without breaking "flexible plastic tubing". supple applies to something that can be readily bent, twisted, or folded without any sign of injury "supple leather".
elastic n (1847) 1 a: easily stretched rubber usu. prepared in cords, strings, or bands b: rubber band
2. a: an elastic fabric usu. made of yarns containing rubber b: something made from this fabric