a. Easily resuming original size or shape after being stretched or otherwise deformed; flexible. See Synonyms at flexible.
b. Relating to a collision in which the total kinetic energy is conserved.
2. Quick to recover, as from disappointment; resilient: an elastic spirit.
3. Capable of being adapted to change or a variety of circumstances: "To say that morale is a highly unscientific and quite elastic concept would be an understatement" (Roger J. Spiller).
4. Economics Of, relating to, or being a good for which changes in price have a large effect on the quantity demanded or supplied.
a. A flexible stretchable fabric made with interwoven strands of rubber or an imitative synthetic fiber.
b. An object made of this fabric.
2. A rubber band.
[New Latin elasticus, from Late Greek elastos, beaten, ductile, variant of Greek elatos, from elaunein, to beat out.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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:
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.