elastic

Definitions

Aviation

  • adjective flexible, easily returning to its original shape after being stretched or expanded

Construction

  • Refers to any material that can return to its initial state after having been deformed by an outside force.

Economics

  • adjective which can expand or contract easily (as in consumer demand for certain products which changes a lot as a result of only small changes in price: such products are said to be price elastic)

Medical

  • adjective which can be stretched and compressed and return to its former shape

Origin & History of “elastic”

Greek elaúnein meant ‘drive’. from it was derived the late Greek adjective elastikós, which had the sense ‘driving, propelling’. Its Latin version elasticus was used by the French scientist Jean Pecquet (1622–1674) in describing the expansive properties of gases, and that is the sense in which it was originally adopted into English. Its transference to the wider meaning ‘returning to a former state after contracting’ took place towards the end of the 17th century.
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