1. capable of returning to its original length, shape, etc., after being stretched, deformed, compressed, or expanded: an elastic waistband; elastic fiber.
  2. spontaneously expansive, as gases.
  3. flexible; accommodating; adaptable; tolerant: elastic rules and regulations.
  4. springing back or rebounding; springy: He walks with an elastic step.
  5. readily recovering from depression or exhaustion; buoyant: an elastic temperament.
  6. Economics. relatively responsive to change, as to a proportionate increase in demand as the result of a decrease in price.Compare inelastic(def 2).
  7. Physics. of, relating to, or noting a body having the property of elasticity.


  1. webbing, or material in the form of a band, made elastic, as with strips of rubber.
  2. something made from this material, as a garter.
  3. rubber band.


  1. (of a body or material) capable of returning to its original shape after compression, expansion, stretching, or other deformation
  2. capable of adapting to changean elastic schedule
  3. quick to recover from fatigue, dejection, etc; buoyant
  4. springy or resilientan elastic walk
  5. (of gases) capable of expanding spontaneously
  6. physics (of collisions) involving no overall change in translational kinetic energy
  7. made of elastic


  1. tape, cord, or fabric containing interwoven strands of flexible rubber or similar substance allowing it to stretch and return to its original shape
  2. mainly US and Canadian something made of elastic, such as a rubber band or a garter

1650s, coined in French (1650s) as a scientific term to describe gases, from Modern Latin elasticus, from Greek elastos “ductile, flexible,” related to elaunein “to strike, beat out,” of uncertain origin. Applied to solids from 1670s. Figurative use by 1859. The noun, “cord or string woven with rubber,” is 1847, American English.


  1. Having the property of returning to the original shape after being distorted.

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