Etymology: New Latin elasticus, from Late Greek elastos ductile, beaten, from Greek elaunein to drive, beat out; probably akin to Greek ēlythe he went, Old Irish luid
a. of a solid capable of recovering size and shape after deformation
b. relating to or being a collision between particles in which the total kinetic energy of the particles remains unchanged
2. capable of recovering quickly especially from depression or disappointment <my elastic spirits revived — Wilkie Collins> 3. capable of being easily stretched or expanded and resuming former shape ; flexible <an elastic bandage> 4. a. capable of ready change or easy expansion or contraction ; not rigid or constricted <an elastic concept> b. receptive to new ideas ; adaptable <an elastic mind> • elastically adverb Synonyms: 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>. II. noun Date: 1847 1. a. easily stretched rubber usually prepared in cords, strings, or bands b. rubber band 2. a. an elastic fabric usually made of yarns containing rubber b. something made from this fabric
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.