Resilient vs elastic


Senior Member
Anyone could enlighten me the difference between resilient and elastic. I have checked through different dictionaries and found out the meaning is quite alike:-
re•sil•ient(ri zilyənt, -zilē ənt),
  1. springing back;
  2. returning to the original form or position after being bent, compressed, or stretched.
e•las•tic(i lastik),
  1. capable of returning to its original length, shape, etc., after being stretched, deformed, compressed, or expanded:an elastic waistband; elastic fiber.

I couldn't differentiate the meaning between them for the following sentence:-

1). Rubber bands are stretchable.

Which word is the best substitute for stretchable, resilient or elastic?

Thank a lots.
  • rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    Rubber bands are elastic. Stretchable isn't in my dictionary (Chambers) although it looks like a word that should exist and I wouldn't object to it. Stretchable doesn't mean that the thing returns to its original length. It just means you can stretch it, like chewing-gum.
    Materials are elastic. Elastic is also a noun - the stuff that keeps your knickers up.
    Personally I'd say that resilient normally means something like able to recover from a defeat or setback. Manchester United lost to Manchester City but they were resilient and beat Arsenal the following week.
    I don't think I'd use resilient to refer to materials, unless perhaps I were referring to the toughness of the material. And even then I don't think I'd be referring to its elasticity. This plastic is resilient. You can heat it up and when it cools down it remains undamaged.
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