Meaning of ELASTIC in English

I. ə̇ˈlastik, ēˈ-, -laas-, -tēk sometimes chiefly Brit -lȧs- adjective

Etymology: New Latin elasticus expansive, impulsive, from Late Greek elastos ductile, beaten (from Greek elaunein to drive, beat out) + Latin -icus -ic; akin to Greek elan to drive, Old Irish luid went, and perhaps to Armenian elanim I become


a. of a solid : capable of recovering size and shape after deformation

b. of a liquid : capable of resisting compression

c. of a gas : capable of indefinite expansion

2. : capable of recovering quickly from low spirits, disappointment, or misfortune

a very cheerful and elastic gentleman — T.L.Peacock

: marked by buoyancy : resilient

one called the young Indians “boys”, perhaps because there was something youthful and elastic in their bodies — Willa Cather

3. : capable of being easily stretched or expanded and of snapping back or resuming former shape : flexible

a brave old Panama hat … so elastic that upon rolling it up it sprang into perfect shape again — Herman Melville


a. : capable of ready change or easy expansion

left as elastic as possible the constitution of the new institutions — P.J.Noel-Baker

: not rigid or constricted

the word democratic is doubtless one of the most elastic in the language — D.D.McKean

b. : receptive to new ideas and willing to modify previous judgments : adaptable

the French mind is elastic and French public opinion tolerant to a degree which shames the prejudice of other peoples — W.C.Brownell

5. : enlarging or decreasing readily in demand in response to changes in price

the market is a fixed one in certain ways and quite elastic in other ways — Charles Yerkow


expansive , resilient , buoyant , volatile , effervescent : elastic may indicate an ability to recover quickly from discouragement or dejection and enjoy optimism or elation again

the buoyant and elastic temper of the French trouveur — J.R.Green

an elastic faculty of throwing off such recollections as would be too painful for endurance — Nathaniel Hawthorne

to him whose elastic and vigorous thought keeps pace with the sun, the day is a perpetual morning — H.D.Thoreau

expansive may imply high spirits, optimism, benevolence, geniality, and communicativeness

an expansive mood is one of the most familiar and sometimes costly first responses to a Florida winter sun. The person noted for taciturnity in his home community often becomes loquacious — American Guide Series: Florida

resilient may stress speed of return to accustomed good or high spirits after stress, tribulation, or depression

already the shock and horror of it was fading from her resilient mind — Ruth Park

good fighters, outspoken and tenacious of opinion, unsparing in attack, refusing to be browbeaten, resilient and tough as seasoned hickory — V.L.Parrington

buoyant may indicate a temperamental lightness of spirit incapable of lasting dejection or depression

in the dark days of the Revolution there was a buoyant American spirit — Encyc. Americana

no such immaterial burden could depress that buoyant -hearted young gentleman for many hours together — George Eliot

volatile suggests lightness, levity, gaiety, or flightiness overcoming the sedate, serious, sober, or downcast

how different from the volatile Polynesian in this, as in all other respects, is our grave and decorous North American Indian — Herman Melville

was suspected of levity, irreverence, disregard, and affectation. He was too volatile; he talked too much — John o' London's Weekly

effervescent suggests a bubbling liveliness and boisterousness over which restraint or suppression is unlikely or impossible

an effervescent sort of chap with an enthusiasm that takes off like a rocket — Richard Joseph

Synonym: see in addition flexible .

II. noun

( -s )


a. : elastic web

b. : a fabric that is woven usually of yarns containing rubber and that is used especially for girdles and elastic hose

c. : something made from such fabric ; especially : garter 1 — usually used in plural

2. : easily stretched rubber usually prepared in cords, strings, or bands: as

a. : rubber band

b. : a band of elastic placed around a tooth at the gum line in effecting its nonsurgical extraction

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.