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-plastic
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suff.
Forming; growing; changing; developing: metaplastic.

[Greek plastikos, fit for molding; see PLASTIC.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
plas·tic (plăstĭk)
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adj.
1. Capable of being shaped or formed: plastic material such as clay. See Synonyms at malleable.
2. Relating to or dealing with shaping or modeling: the plastic art of sculpture.
3. Having the qualities of sculpture; well-formed: "the astonishing plastic beauty of the chorus girls" (Frank Harris).
4. Giving form or shape to a substance: the plastic forces that create and wear down a mountain range.
5. Easily influenced; impressionable: "The plastic mind of the bank clerk had been ... distorted by what he had read" (Rudyard Kipling).
6. Made of a plastic or plastics: a plastic garden hose.
7. Physics Capable of undergoing continuous deformation without rupture or relaxation.
8. Biology
a. Capable of building tissue; formative.
b. Able to change and adapt, especially by acquiring alternative pathways for sensory perception or motor skills. Used of the central nervous system.
9. Marked by artificiality or superficiality: a plastic world of fad, hype, and sensation.
10. Informal Of or obtained by means of credit cards: plastic money.
n.
1. Any of various organic compounds produced by polymerization, capable of being molded, extruded, cast into various shapes and films, or drawn into filaments used as textile fibers.
2. Informal A credit card or credit cards: would accept cash or plastic in payment.

[Latin plasticus, from Greek plastikos, from plastos, molded, from plassein, to mold; see pelə-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

plasti·cal·ly adv.
plas·tici·ty (-tĭsĭ-tē) n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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