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EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin plasticus (of molding), from Ancient Greek πλαστικός (plastikós), from πλάσσειν (plássein, to mold, form).

PronunciationEdit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈplɑːstɪk/, /ˈplæstɪk/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈplæstɪk/, [ˈpʰlæstɪk]
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æstɪk

NounEdit

plastic (countable and uncountable, plural plastics)

  1. A synthetic, solid, hydrocarbon-based polymer, whether thermoplastic or thermosetting.
    • 2013 July 20, “Welcome to the plastisphere”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Plastics are energy-rich substances, which is why many of them burn so readily. Any organism that could unlock and use that energy would do well in the Anthropocene. Terrestrial bacteria and fungi which can manage this trick are already familiar to experts in the field. Dr Mincer and Dr Amaral-Zettler found evidence of them on their marine plastic, too.
  2. (colloquial, metonymically) Credit or debit cards used in place of cash to buy goods and services.
    • 2008, Lily Allen, The Fear:
      It's all about fast cars and cussing each other / but it doesn't matter cause I'm packing plastic / and that's what makes my life so fucking fantastic.
  3. (slang) Fakeness, or a person who is fake or arrogant, or believes that they are better than the rest of the population.
    • 2004, Rosalind Wiseman, Tina Fey, 'Mean Girls':
      Cady: You know I couldn't invite you. I had to pretend to be plastic.
      Janis: Hey, buddy, you're not pretending anymore. You're plastic. Cold, shiny, hard plastic.
    • 2011, Emily Kapnek, 'Suburgatory':
      Tessa: Pretty ironic that a box full of rubbers landed me to a town full of plastic.
  4. (obsolete) A sculptor, moulder.
  5. (archaic) Any solid but malleable substance.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

AdjectiveEdit

plastic (comparative more plastic, superlative most plastic)

  1. Capable of being moulded; malleable, flexible, pliant. [from 17th c.]
    Synonyms: malleable, flexible, pliant; see also Thesaurus:moldable
    Antonym: elastic
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, page 103:
      the rage [] betook itself at last to certain missile weapons; which, though from their plastic nature they threatened neither the loss of life or of limb, were, however, sufficiently dreadful to a well-dressed lady.
    • 1898, Journal of Microscopy (page 256)
      Plastic mud, brownish tinted, rich in floatings.
    • 2012, Adam Zeman, ‘Only Connect’, Literary Review, issue 399:
      while the broad pattern of connections between brain regions is similar in every healthy human brain, their details – their number, size and strength – are thought to underpin our individuality, as synapses are ‘plastic’, shaped by experience.
  2. (medicine, now rare) Producing tissue. [from 17th c.]
  3. (dated) Creative, formative. [from 17th c.]
    • Prior
      the plastic hand of the Creator
    • (Can we date this quote?) Alexander Pope
      See plastic Nature working to his end.
  4. (biology) Capable of adapting to varying conditions; characterized by environmental adaptability. [from 19th c.]
  5. Of or pertaining to the inelastic, non-brittle, deformation of a material. [from 19th c.]
  6. Made of plastic. [from 20th c.]
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess[1]:
      A canister of flour from the kitchen had been thrown at the looking-glass and lay like trampled snow over the remains of a decent blue suit with the lining ripped out which lay on top of the ruin of a plastic wardrobe.
    • 1995, Radiohead (lyrics and music), “Fake Plastic Trees”, in The Bends:
      A green plastic watering can / For a fake Chinese rubber plant / In a fake plastic earth / That she bought from a rubber man / In a town full of rubber plans / To get rid of itself
  7. Inferior or not the real thing. [from 20th c.]
    Synonym: ersatz
    • 1969, Lowell D. Streiker, The gospel of irreligious religion, page 83:
      The Hippie has been replaced by the pseudo-Hippie, the plastic Hippie, the weekend Hippie
    • 2007, Daniel Sinker, We owe you nothing: Punk Planet: the collected interviews, page 238:
      People always try to say that we're garage rock, but that scene is so plastic. Some dude in a band has tight jeans, dyed black hair, and a starving girlfriend with bangs, and people call it indie rock. It's so gross.
    • 2008, Matt James Mason, 'The pirate's dilemma: how youth culture is reinventing capitalism':
      Frustrated by a globalized music industry force-feeding them plastic pop music, hackers, remixers, and activists began to mobilize...
  8. (informal, of a person) Fake.
    Synonym: fake
    Antonym: genuine
    • 1966, Calvin C. Hernton, White papers for white Americans, page 67:
      He kissed the white woman once, and it was so artificial, so plastic (that's the word, plastic) that one wondered why did they bother at all.
    • 1967, Frank Zappa (music), “Plastic People”, in Absolutely Free, performed by The Mothers of Invention:
      Then go home and check yourself / You think we're singing 'bout someone else… / But you're plastic people / You gotta go
    • 1973, Eric Berne, What do you say after you say hello?, page 120:
      In fact it seems as though there are two kinds of people in the world: real people and plastic people, as the Flower Children used to say.
    • 2006, Catherine Coulter, Born to Be Wild, page 71:
      But I don't think she would be happy in Los Angeles — it's so plastic and cheap and they expect the women to be whores to get anywhere.
    • 2009, Lady Gaga, Paparazzi:
      We're plastic but we'll still have fun!
    • 2014, James Baldwin, James Baldwin: The Last Interview: and other Conversations, →ISBN:
      And further, I don't see anything in American life -- for myself-- to aspire to. Nothing at all. It's all so very false. So shallow, so plastic, so morally and ethically corrupt.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

AnagramsEdit


DanishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from English plastic.

NounEdit

plastic

  1. (sometimes proscribed) plastic

Usage notesEdit

Discouraged in engineering circles in favour of plast.

DeclensionEdit


DutchEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from English plastic.

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /ˈplɛs.tɪk/
  • Hyphenation: plas‧tic

NounEdit

plastic n (uncountable)

  1. (Netherlands, uncountable) plastic (synthetic polymer substance)
    Synonym: plastiek

NounEdit

plastic m (plural plastics)

  1. (Netherlands, countable, chemistry) plastic (specific type of synthetic polymer)
    Synonym: plastiek

AdjectiveEdit

plastic (not comparable)

  1. (Netherlands) plastic
    Synonym: plastieken

InflectionEdit

Inflection of plastic
uninflected plastic
inflected plastic
comparative
positive
predicative/adverbial plastic
indefinite m./f. sing. plastic
n. sing. plastic
plural plastic
definite plastic
partitive plastics

FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from English plastic.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

plastic m (plural plastics)

  1. plastic explosive

Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit