E*las"tic (?), a. [Formed fr. Gr. ?
to drive; prob. akin to L. alacer lively, brisk, and E.
alacrity: cf. F. élastique.] 1.
Springing back; having a power or inherent property of returning
to the form from which a substance is bent, drawn, pressed, or
twisted; springy; having the power of rebounding; as, a bow is
elastic; the air is elastic; India rubber is
Capable of being drawn out by force like a piece of
elastic gum, and by its own elasticity returning, when the
force is removed, to its former position.
2. Able to return quickly to a former state
or condition, after being depressed or overtaxed; having power to
recover easily from shocks and trials; as, elastic spirits; an
Elastic bitumen. (Min.) See
Elaterite. -- Elastic curve.
(a) (Geom.) The curve made by a thin
elastic rod fixed horizontally at one end and loaded at the
other. (b) (Mech.) The figure assumed
by the longitudinal axis of an originally straight bar under any
system of bending forces. Rankine. -- Elastic
fluids, those which have the property of expanding in
all directions on the removal of external pressure, as the air,
steam, and other gases and vapors. -- Elastic
limit (Mech.), the limit of distortion, by
bending, stretching, etc., that a body can undergo and yet return to
its original form when relieved from stress; also, the unit force or
stress required to produce this distortion. Within the elastic limit
the distortion is directly proportional to the stress producing
it. -- Elastic tissue (Anat.), a
variety of connective tissue consisting of a network of slender and
very elastic fibers which are but slightly affected by acids or
alkalies. -- Gum elastic,
E*las"tic, n. An elastic woven
fabric, as a belt, braces or suspenders, etc., made in part of India