AskDefine | Define plasticity

Dictionary Definition

plasticity n : the property of being physically malleable; the property of something that can be worked or hammered or shaped under pressure without breaking [syn: malleability] [ant: unmalleability]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The quality or state of being plastic.
  2. the property of a solid body whereby it undergoes a permanent change in shape or size when subjected to a stress exceeding a particular value (the yield value)

Related terms


Extensive Definition

Plasticity generally means ability to permanently change or deform. (It differs from "elasticity", which refers to ability to change temporarily and revert back to original form.)
More specific meanings include:
In the sciences
  • Plasticity (psychology): An intelligence factor that determines the ease of changing ones perception of a situation for finding a new solution to a problem. Lack of plasticity is termed rigidity.
  • Phenotypic plasticity: Describes the degree to which an organism's phenotype is determined by its genotype
  • Neuroplasticity: Entire brain structures can change to better cope with the environment. Specifically, when an area of the brain is damaged and non-functional, another area may take over some of the function. This is known as neuroplasticity.
    • Synaptic plasticity: In neuroscience, plasticity is a property of a neuron or synapse to change its internal parameters in response to its history
  • Plasticity (tissues): In body tissues, plasticity refers to the ability of differentiated cells to undergo transdifferentiation
In art
  • The plastic arts are those, such as clay sculpture, in which material is formed or deformed into a new, permanent shape
plasticity in Urdu: لدونت
plasticity in German: Umformbarkeit
plasticity in Spanish: Plasticidad
plasticity in Russian: Пластичность

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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