1. Having the power to give form or fashion to a mass of matter; as, the plastic hand of the Creator. "See plastic Nature working to his end." (Pope)

2. Capable of being molded, formed, or modeled, as clay or plaster; used also figuratively; as, the plastic mind of a child.

3. Pertaining or appropriate to, or characteristic of, molding or modeling; produced by, or appearing as if produced by, molding or modeling; said of sculpture and the kindred arts, in distinction from painting and the graphic arts. "Medallions . . . Fraught with the plastic beauty and grace of the palmy days of Italian art." (J. S.

<medicine> Harford) Plastic clay See Force. Plastic operation, an operation in plastic surgery. Plastic surgery, that branch of surgery which is concerned with the repair or restoration of lost, injured, or deformed parts of the body.

Origin: L. Plasticus, Gr, fr. To form, mold: cf. F. Plastique.

(01 Mar 1998)