9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ih-las-tik] /ɪˈlæs tɪk/
capable of returning to its original length, shape, etc., after being stretched, deformed, compressed, or expanded:
an elastic waistband; elastic fiber.
spontaneously expansive, as gases.
flexible; accommodating; adaptable; tolerant:
elastic rules and regulations.
springing back or rebounding; springy:
He walks with an elastic step.
readily recovering from depression or exhaustion; buoyant:
an elastic temperament.
Economics. relatively responsive to change, as to a proportionate increase in demand as the result of a decrease in price.
Compare inelastic (def 2).
Physics. of, relating to, or noting a body having the property of elasticity.
webbing, or material in the form of a band, made elastic, as with strips of rubber.
something made from this material, as a garter.
Origin of elastic
1645-55; < New Latin elasticus expanding spontaneously, equivalent to Greek elast(ós) (late variant of elatós ductile, beaten (of metal), derivative of elaúnein, elân beat out, forge) + -icus -ic
Related forms
elastically, adverb
nonelastic, adjective
nonelastically, adverb
semielastic, adjective
semielastically, adverb
superelastic, adjective
superelastically, adverb
unelastic, adjective
unelastically, adverb
3. resilient, pliant.
3. rigid, inflexible, intolerant, unyielding. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for elastic
  • Ultraviolet radiation leads to changes in the elastic tissue, in the collagen, in the blood vessels.
  • Law should be more elastic and responsive to an ever changing society.
  • Moreover, when a liquid antenna is housed in an elastic material it can be tuned in a novel way.
  • In this case, the elastic adhesive pulls tighter to the surface to which it is attached, increasing its stickiness.
  • The resulting composite is strong, tough, and yet elastic.
  • Only those four species have an elastic ligament connecting bones that support the larynx in the throat.
  • Use a large needle to thread thin elastic through the mask, knotting elastic at each end to create a band.
  • Sit with knee straight and loop elastic around foot and in away from your foot.
  • Because it is too elastic to provide a guide to future action.
  • It is not particularly elastic and so is prone to cracking and drying out.
British Dictionary definitions for elastic


(of a body or material) capable of returning to its original shape after compression, expansion, stretching, or other deformation
capable of adapting to change: an elastic schedule
quick to recover from fatigue, dejection, etc; buoyant
springy or resilient: an elastic walk
(of gases) capable of expanding spontaneously
(physics) (of collisions) involving no overall change in translational kinetic energy
made of elastic
tape, cord, or fabric containing interwoven strands of flexible rubber or similar substance allowing it to stretch and return to its original shape
(mainly US & Canadian) something made of elastic, such as a rubber band or a garter
Derived Forms
elastically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin elasticus impulsive, from Greek elastikos, from elaunein to beat, drive
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for elastic

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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elastic in Medicine

elastic e·las·tic (ĭ-lās'tĭk)
Having the property of returning to the original shape after being distorted.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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