Definition of inelastic in English:



  • 1(of a substance or material) not elastic.

    • ‘That's the mantra of many a hack desperate to meet an inelastic deadline or dying to use a bombastic headline.’
    • ‘When the deformation exceeds the elastic limit of the object, it undergoes inelastic deformation.’
    • ‘But late signs can be severe including sunken eyes, inelastic skin and without urine output.’
    • ‘Surprisingly, these inelastic pedagogic methods were extremely successful, and Post was a very popular teacher.’
    • ‘Fluid resuscitation leads to the development of burn wound oedema and swelling of the tissue beneath this inelastic burnt tissue.’
    • ‘A sheet or band of tough, inelastic, fibrous connective tissue.’
    • ‘It is a malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic.’
    • ‘Thirdly, the cost of living is higher in the cities and fairly inelastic.’
    • ‘This is characterized by the appearance of wrinkles, dry, inelastic leathery skin and irregular pigmentation.’
    • ‘When the calf muscles press against the rigid, inelastic bandage, they pump more effectively facilitating removal of fluid from the extremity.’
    • ‘Without the magic elixir of paper money, borrowers would face insufficient liquidity, an excessively rigid credit system, and an inelastic monetary system.’
    • ‘Graduated compression therapy to overcome venous hypertension is useful and can be applied using inelastic or elastic bandages.’
    • ‘Over time, too much sun can age the skin, making it leathery and inelastic.’
    • ‘Some polymers stretch to 10 times their length, whereas metals are relatively inelastic, he says.’
    • ‘I've been knitting with so many inelastic yarns (cotton, cotton/silk, etc), that I really wanted to work with wool.’
    • ‘Fibroblasts grow into the exudate from both the visceral and parietal pleural surface to produce an inelastic membrane called the pleural peel.’
    • ‘The cuff is an inelastic cloth that encircles the arm and encloses the inflatable rubber bladder.’
    • ‘A new method for determining the presence of inelastic compressive strain at any location in a tree was devised.’
    hard, solid, unyielding, resistant
    View synonyms
  • 2Economics
    (of demand or supply) insensitive to changes in price or income.

    • ‘A slight drop in price does not endear the other newspaper - more or less newspaper demand is price inelastic.’
    • ‘Most of the increase in consumption will occur in the transportation sector where demand for petroleum is inelastic.’
    • ‘If this occurs, rice prices would decline, given that the demand for rice is relatively inelastic.’
    • ‘Some commodities are described as being elastic; others as inelastic.’
    • ‘With an inelastic demand, much lower prices and lower incomes (excluding large increases in subsidies) resulted.’
  • 3Physics
    (of a collision) involving an overall loss of translational kinetic energy.

    • ‘In mechanical systems, there is always a certain amount of energy lost as heat due to frictional processes and inelastic collisions between moving parts.’
    • ‘There are more than three times more inelastic electrons than elastic ones in electrons scattered by ice.’
    • ‘This transfer occurs when a photon undergoes an inelastic collision with a molecule, and energy is either imparted to or obtained from the material.’
    • ‘We present elastic and inelastic incoherent neutron scattering data from a series of trehalose glasses diluted with glycerol.’
    • ‘Suppose further that a net amount of energy E is emitted in this inelastic collision, say in the form of heat.’