plastic: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (plas'tik), [key]
— n.
  1. Often,any of a group of synthetic or natural organic materials that may be shaped when soft and then hardened, including many types of resins, resinoids, polymers, cellulose derivatives, casein materials, and proteins: used in place of other materials, as glass, wood, and metals, in construction and decoration, for making many articles, as coatings, and, drawn into filaments, for weaving. They are often known by trademark names, as Bakelite, Vinylite, or Lucite.
  2. a credit card, or credit cards collectively, usually made of plastic: He had a whole pocketful of plastic.
  3. money, payment, or credit represented by the use of a credit card or cards.
  4. something, or a group of things, made of or resembling plastic: The entire meal was served on plastic.
  1. made of plastic.
  2. capable of being molded or of receiving form: clay and other plastic substances.
  3. produced by molding: plastic figures.
  4. having the power of molding or shaping formless or yielding material: the plastic forces of nature.
  5. being able to create, esp. within an art form; having the power to give form or formal expression: the plastic imagination of great poets and composers.
  6. the plastic means.
    1. concerned with or pertaining to molding or modeling; sculptural.
    2. relating to three-dimensional form or space, esp. on a two-dimensional surface.
    3. pertaining to the tools or techniques of drawing, painting, or sculpture:the plastic means.
    4. characterized by an emphasis on formal structure:plastic requirements of a picture.
  7. pliable; impressionable: the plastic mind of youth.
  8. giving the impression of being made of or furnished with plastic: We stayed at one of those plastic motels.
  9. artificial or insincere; synthetic; phony: jeans made of cotton, not some plastic substitute; a plastic smile.
  10. lacking in depth, individuality, or permanence; superficial, dehumanized, or mass-produced: a plastic society interested only in material acquisition.
  11. of or pertaining to the use of credit cards: plastic credit; plastic money.
  12. formative.
  13. concerned with or pertaining to the remedying or restoring of malformed, injured, or lost parts: a plastic operation.


Pronunciation: [key]
  1. a combining form occurring in chloroplastic; protoplastic.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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