elastic


elastic
elastic adj
1 Elastic, resilient, springy, flexible, supple are comparable when they mean able to endure strain (as extension, compression, twisting, or bending) without being permanently affected or injured. Elastic and resilient are both general and scientific terms; the scientific senses are later and are in part derived from the earlier meanings.
Elastic in nontechnical use is applied chiefly to substances or materials that are easy to stretch or expand and that quickly recover their shape or size when the pressure is removed
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a rubber band is elastic

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elastic cord for hats

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a toy balloon is an elastic bag which can be blown up greatly beyond its original size

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In scientific use elastic is applicable to a solid that may be changed in volume or shape, or to a fluid (gas or liquid) that may be changed in volume, when in the course of the deformation of such a solid or fluid forces come into play which tend to make it recover its original volume or shape once the deforming force or forces are removed. The term in such use describes a property (elasticity) which a substance possesses up to the point (the elastic limit) beyond which it cannot be deformed without permanent injury
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a body ... is elastic when, and only when, it tends to recover its initial condition when the distorting force is removed .... Steel, rubber, air . . . are more or less elasticFoley

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Resilient in nontechnical use is applicable to whatever springs back into place or into shape especially after compression; thus, rising bread dough is said to be resilient because it quickly recovers from a deforming pressure by the hand; a tree's branch may be described as resilient when it snaps back into its former position once a pull is released. Scientifically, resilient is not the equivalent of elastic, but it may be used as its counterpart; elastic stresses the capacity for deformation without permanent injury, resilient the capacity for recovering shape or position after strain or pressure has been re-moved; thus, when an elastic substance is stretched or compressed, it shows itself resilient; as arteries gradually become less elastic with age, to the same extent they become less resilient.
Springy is a nontechnical term that carries the meanings and suggestions of both elastic and resilient and stresses at once the ease with which a thing yields to pressure or strain and the quickness of its return
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walk on springy turf

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firm, springy muscles

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a laughing schoolboy . . . riding the springy branches of an elm— Keats

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Flexible is applicable to whatever can be bent or turned without breaking; the term may or may not imply resiliency, or quick recovery of shape
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lead pipe is flexible and may be bent into shape

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a flexible young tree often endures a heavy windstorm better than a rigid, fully developed one

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flexible and gracious as the willow— Binyon

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Supple applies to things which are, in general, not as solid or firm in structure as some which may be described as flexible; it also implies ease in bending, twisting, or folding or flexing, together with resistance to accompanying injury (as from breaking, cracking, or splitting)
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supple joints and muscles

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a supple leather

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mere manual labor stiffens the limbs, gymnastic exercises render them suppleJefferies

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In extended use these words often carry the implications of their literal senses.
Elastic stresses ease in stretching or expanding beyond the normal or appointed limits
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an elastic conscience

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some principles there must be, however elasticBuchan

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an elastic term

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Resilient implies a tendency to rebound or recover quickly (as in health or spirits) especially after subjection to stress or strain (see ELASTIC 2)
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a resilient constitution

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Springy, which is less common in extended use, may suggest youth, freshness, or buoyancy
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a springy step

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Flexible implies an adaptable or accommodating quality or, when applied to persons, pliancy or tractability
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a flexible scheme

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a flexible arrangement

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his mind became more flexible with ageC rot hers

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Supple, in its extended use, is applied chiefly to persons or their utterances. Sometimes it suggests little more than flexibility; at other times it implies obsequiousness or complaisance or a show of these with what is actually astute mastery of a situation
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in . . . Bismarck, the supple spirit is hidden under an external directness and rough assertion— Belloc

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Analogous words: pliable, pliant, ductile, *plastic, malleable: limber, lithe, *supple
Antonyms: rigid
Contrasted words: *stiff, inflexible, tense
2 Elastic, expansive, resilient, buoyant, volatile, effervescent are comparable when describing persons, their temperaments, moods, acts, or words and meaning indicative of or characterized by ease or readiness in the stimulation of spirit and especially of high spirits.
Elastic implies an incapacity for being kept down in spirits; specifically it may suggest an ability to recover quickly from a state of depression
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those elastic spirits . . . had borne up against defeat— Macaulay

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or a tendency to moods of exaltation, elation, or optimism
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there are times when one's vitality is too high to be clouded, too elastic to stay down— Cather

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not an elastic or optimistic nature — on the contrary, rigid and circumscribed, depressed by a melancholy temperament— Symonds

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

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Expansive implies exaltation of spirit that tends to make a person unusually genial, communicative, or sociable
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she had an expansive temperament, a brilliant personality, a widely sympathetic disposition, troops of friends— Ellis

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in an expansive and not very sober moment, she had told Tod about her adventure— Sayers

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while not expansive toward visitors, she received them with courtesy— Raymond Weeks

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Resilient usually implies a return to normal good spirits, which may or may not be high spirits
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he was as resilient as ever, one day utterly exhausted, and the next day ready for fresh labors

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evidently her resilient strength was going; she could no longer react normally to the refreshment of food— Ellis

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

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Buoyant implies such lightness or vivacity of heart or spirits as is either incapable of depression or that readily shakes it off
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no such immaterial burden could depress that buoyant-hearted young gentleman for many hours together— George Eliot

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his buoyant spirits were continually breaking out in troublesome frolics— Prescott

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Volatile implies diametrical opposition to all that is serious, sedate, or settled; it therefore suggests lightness, levity, or excessive buoyancy of spirits and often flightiness or instability
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as giddy and volatile as ever— Swift

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he seemed to them so volatile and unstable. He was an enigma to which they never secured the key— Ellis

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Effervescent implies liveliness, often boisterousness of spirits; it often suggests the effect of release after restraint and even more than buoyant implies the impossibility of suppression so long as the mood or temper lasts
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an effervescent sort of chap with an enthusiasm that takes off like a rocket— Joseph

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Analogous words: *spirited, high-spirited, mettlesome: *lively, vivacious, sprightly, animated, gay
Antonyms: depressed
Contrasted words: dejected, gloomy, melancholy, sad, blue (see corresponding nouns at SADNESS): flaccid, *limp

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Elastic — E*las tic ([ e]*l[a^]s t[i^]k), a. [Formed fr. Gr. elay nein to drive; prob. akin to L. alacer lively, brisk, and E. alacrity: cf. F. [ e]lastique.] 1. Springing back; having a power or inherent property of returning to the form from which a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • elastic — ELÁSTIC, Ă, elastici, ce, adj., s.n. I. adj. 1. (Despre unele obiecte) Care are proprietatea de a şi modifica forma şi dimensiunile sub acţiunea unei forţe exterioare şi de a reveni de la sine la forma şi dimensiunile iniţiale după încetarea… …   Dicționar Român

  • Elastic — may refer to:*Elastic collision, a term describing collisions in which kinetic energy is conserved *Elastic deformations, a term describing reversible deformations of materials *Elastic, a colloquial noun for certain kinds of elastomers and… …   Wikipedia

  • elastic — [ē las′tik, ilas′tik] adj. [ModL elasticus < LGr elastikos < Gr elaunein, to set in motion, beat out < IE base * el , to drive, move, go > ? LANE1] 1. able to spring back to its original size, shape, or position after being stretched …   English World dictionary

  • elastic — UK US /ɪˈlæstɪk/ adjective ► ECONOMICS relating to a situation in which the number of products sold changes in relation to the product s price: »We re seeing the elastic effect of lower component prices encouraging demand for PCs. »Your problem… …   Financial and business terms

  • Elastic — E*las tic, n. An elastic woven fabric, as a belt, braces or suspenders, etc., made in part of India rubber. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • elastic — [adj1] pliant, rubbery adaptable, bouncy, buoyant, ductile, extendible, extensible, flexible, irrepressible, limber, lithe, malleable, moldable, plastic, pliable, resilient, rubberlike, springy, stretchable, stretchy, supple, tempered, yielding;… …   New thesaurus

  • elastic — index flexible, malleable, pliable, pliant, resilient, sequacious, tractable, volatile, yielding …   Law dictionary

  • elastic — (adj.) 1650s, coined in French (1650s) as a scientific term to describe gases, from Mod.L. elasticus, from Gk. elastos ductile, flexible, related to elaunein to strike, beat out, of uncertain origin. Applied to solids from 1670s. Figurative use… …   Etymology dictionary

  • elastic — ► ADJECTIVE 1) able to resume normal shape spontaneously after being stretched or squeezed. 2) flexible and adaptable. ► NOUN ▪ cord, tape, or fabric which returns to its original length or shape after being stretched. DERIVATIVES elastically… …   English terms dictionary


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