Meaning of PLASTIC in English


I. ˈplas-tik adjective

Etymology: Latin plasticus of molding, from Greek plastikos, from plassein to mold, form

Date: 1632

1. : formative , creative

plastic forces in nature


a. : capable of being molded or modeled

plastic clay

b. : capable of adapting to varying conditions : pliable

ecologically plastic animals

3. : sculptural

4. : made or consisting of a plastic

5. : capable of being deformed continuously and permanently in any direction without rupture

6. : of, relating to, or involving plastic surgery

7. : having a quality suggestive of mass-produced plastic goods ; especially : artificial 4

plastic smiles

8. : relating to, characterized by, or exhibiting neural plasticity


plastic , pliable , pliant , ductile , malleable , adaptable mean susceptible of being modified in form or nature. plastic applies to substances soft enough to be molded yet capable of hardening into the desired fixed form

plastic materials allow the sculptor greater freedom

pliable suggests something easily bent, folded, twisted, or manipulated

pliable rubber tubing

pliant may stress flexibility and sometimes connote springiness

an athletic shoe with a pliant sole

ductile applies to what can be drawn out or extended with ease

ductile metals such as copper

malleable applies to what may be pressed or beaten into shape

the malleable properties of gold

adaptable implies the capability of being easily modified to suit other conditions, needs, or uses

computer hardware that is adaptable

II. noun

Date: 1905

1. : a plastic substance ; specifically : any of numerous organic synthetic or processed materials that are mostly thermoplastic or thermosetting polymers of high molecular weight and that can be made into objects, films, or filaments

2. : credit cards used for payment — called also plastic money

• plas·ticky ˈplas-ti-kē adjective

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.