Plas"tic (?), a. [L. plasticus, Gr. , fr. to form, mold: cf. F. plastique.]


Having the power to give form or fashion to a mass of matter; as, the plastic hand of the Creator.


See plastic Nature working to his end. Pope.


Capable of being molded, formed, or modeled, as clay or plaster; -- used also figuratively; as, the plastic mind of a child.


Pertaining or appropriate to, or characteristic of, molding or modeling; produced by, or appearing as if produced by, molding or modeling; -- said of sculpture and the kindred arts, in distinction from painting and the graphic arts.

Medallions . . . fraught with the plastic beauty and grace of the palmy days of Italian art. J. S. Harford.

<-- composed of a plastic substance -->

Plastic clay Geol., one of the beds of the Eocene period; -- so called because used in making pottery. Lyell. -- Plastic element Physiol., one that bears within the germs of a higher form. -- Plastic exudation Med., an exudation thrown out upon a wounded surface and constituting the material of repair by which the process of healing is effected. -- Plastic foods. Physiol. See the second Note under Food. -- Plastic force. Physiol. See under Force. -- Plastic operation, an operation in plastic surgery. -- Plastic surgery, that branch of surgery which is concerned with the repair or restoration of lost, injured, or deformed parts of the body.

<-- plastic, n.

a substance composed predominantly of a synthetic organic high polymer capable of being cast or molded; many varieties of plastic are used to produce articles of commerce (after 1900). [MW10 gives origin of word as 1905]



© Webster 1913.