plastic


plastic
plastic, pliable, pliant, ductile, malleable, adaptable are applied to things and to persons regarded as material susceptible of being modified in form or nature.
Something plastic has the quality (as of wax, clay, or plaster) of being soft enough to be molded or to receive an impression yet capable of hardening into a final form
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a pill mass should be plastic; that is, it should be capable of being worked— C. O. Lee

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the language at the period during which the Bible was being translated into English was in its most plastic stage— Lowes

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life is plastic: it will assume any shape you choose to put on it— Gogarty

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Something pliable or pliant has the quality (as of willow twigs) of being supple enough to be easily bent or manipulated and therefore yielding without resistance. Pliable, in extended use, usually suggests the imposition of or submission to another's will
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I flatter myself that I have some influence over her. She is pliableHardy

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I've always been a pliable sort of person, and I let the ladies guide meUpton Sinclair

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he was criticized as being too pliable, too eager to please— Beverly Smith

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Pliant, on the other hand, suggests flexibility rather than obedience
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art which is alive and pliant in the hands of men— Quiller-Couch

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ready to be used or not used, picked up or cast aside pliant to fate like a reed to the wind— Goudge

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Something ductile has the quality of a tensile metal (as copper) of being tenacious enough to be permanently drawn out or extended, or of water, of being made to flow through channels. In extended use ductile often approaches plastic and pliant but it may have distinctive connotations directly derived from its literal senses, such as quick responsiveness (as distinguished from submissiveness) to influences that would form, guide, or fashion
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verse ... is easier to write than prose .... Mr. Shaw would have found his story still more ductile in the meter of Hiawatha —Quiller-Couch

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a vast portion of the public feels rather than thinks, a ductile multitude drawn easily by the arts of the demagogue— Loveman

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Sometimes fluidity within bounds is connoted
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smooth, ductile, and even, his fancy must flow— Cowper)

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Something malleable is literally or figuratively capable of being beaten or pressed into shape, especially after being conditioned (as by heating)
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tempers . . . rendered pliant and malleable in the fiery furnace of domestic tribulation— Irving

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finds a sort of malleable mind in front of him that he can play with as he will— Masefield

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Something adaptable is capable of being modified or of modifying itself to suit other conditions, other needs, or other uses. As applied to persons the term implies sometimes a pliant, but more often an accommodating, disposition and a readiness to make one's habits, one's opinions, and one's wishes correspond to those of one's present society or environment
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he was an adaptable person. He had yielded to Joyce's training in being quietly instead of noisily disagreeable— Sinclair Lewis

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anarchism has always been an elastic and adaptable faith, and looking round for a suitable machinery to replace state centralization— Connolly

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Analogous words: flexible, supple, *elastic, resilient: tractable, amenable (see OBEDIENT)
Contrasted words: rigid, *stiff, inflexible

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Plastic — is the general common term for a wide range of synthetic or semisynthetic organic solid materials suitable for the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular weight, and may contain other substances to… …   Wikipedia

  • PLASTIC — Explosif pâteux à base d’hexogène ou de pentrite, le plastic, ou explosif plastique, présente une consistance analogue à celle du mastic de vitrier, mais il ne durcit pas. Il est caractérisé par une brisance élevée et une bonne puissance. Il ne… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Plastic — Plas tic (pl[a^]s t[i^]k), a. [L. plasticus, Gr. ?, fr. ? to form, mold: cf. F. plastique.] 1. Having the power to give form or fashion to a mass of matter; as, the plastic hand of the Creator. Prior. [1913 Webster] See plastic Nature working to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • plastic — [plas′tik] adj. [L plasticus < Gr plastikos < plassein, to form, prob. < IE base * plā , flat, to smooth out > PLAIN1] 1. molding or shaping matter; formative 2. a) capable of being molded or shaped b) made of a plastic …   English World dictionary

  • plastic — plas‧tic [ˈplæstɪk] noun [uncountable] informal a credit card, or credit cards in general: • I m going to have to pay for this with plastic. * * * plastic UK US /ˈplæstɪk/ noun [U] ► INFORMAL MONEY …   Financial and business terms

  • plastic — (pl[a^]s t[i^]k), 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]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • plastic — [adj1] flexible, soft; made of manufactured, treated compounds bending, ductile, elastic, fictile, formable, moldable, molded, pliable, pliant, resilient, shapeable, supple, workable; concept 604 Ant. hard, inflexible, stiff plastic [adj2] easily …   New thesaurus

  • plastic — ► NOUN 1) a synthetic material made from organic polymers, that can be moulded into shape while soft and then set into a rigid or slightly elastic form. 2) informal credit cards or other plastic cards that can be used as money. ► ADJECTIVE 1)… …   English terms dictionary

  • -plastic — plas tic ( pl[a^]s t[i^]k). [Gr. ? fit for molding, plastic, fr. ? to mold, to form.] A combining form signifying developing, forming, growing; as, heteroplastic, monoplastic, polyplastic. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • -plastic — [plas′tik] [< Gr plastikos: see PLASTIC] combining form forming adjectives 1. forming, developing [homoplastic] 2. of or relating to (a given noun ending in PLASM, PLAST, or PLASTY) [rhinoplastic] …   English World dictionary


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