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The Collaborative International Dictionary
Elastic limit

Limit \Lim"it\ (l[i^]m"[i^]t), n. [From L. limes, limitis: cf. F. limite; -or from E. limit, v. See Limit, v. t.]

  1. That which terminates, circumscribes, restrains, or confines; the bound, border, or edge; the utmost extent; as, the limit of a walk, of a town, of a country; the limits of human knowledge or endeavor.

    As eager of the chase, the maid Beyond the forest's verdant limits strayed.

  2. The space or thing defined by limits.

    The archdeacon hath divided it Into three limits very equally.

  3. That which terminates a period of time; hence, the period itself; the full time or extent.

    The dateless limit of thy dear exile.

    The limit of your lives is out.

  4. A restriction; a check; a curb; a hindrance.

    I prithee, give no limits to my tongue.

  5. (Logic & Metaph.) A determining feature; a distinguishing characteristic; a differentia.

  6. (Math.) A determinate quantity, to which a variable one continually approaches, and may differ from it by less than any given difference, but to which, under the law of variation, the variable can never become exactly equivalent.

    Elastic limit. See under Elastic.

    Prison limits, a definite, extent of space in or around a prison, within which a prisoner has liberty to go and come.

    Syn: Boundary; border; edge; termination; restriction; bound; confine.

Elastic limit

Elastic \E*las"tic\ ([-e]*l[a^]s"t[i^]k), a. [Formed fr. Gr. 'elay`nein to drive; prob. akin to L. alacer lively, brisk, and E. alacrity: cf. F. ['e]lastique.]

  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 elastic.

    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 constitution. Elastic bitumen. (Min.) See Elaterite. Elastic curve.

    1. (Geom.) The curve made by a thin elastic rod fixed horizontally at one end and loaded at the other.

    2. (Mech.) The figure assumed by the longitudinal axis of an originally straight bar under any system of bending forces.

      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, caoutchouc.

elastic limit

n. (context physics English) The level of stress at which a solid undergoes a greater change in strain than predicted by Hooke's law; often followed by necking and breaking.

Usage examples of "elastic limit".

Nonetheless, I have stretched our regulations to their elastic limit and beyond.

It was as if some elastic limit had been passed and the vortex line, under intolerable strain, was yielding.

I am beginning to suspect that chance is being strained beyond its elastic limit, for my particular benefit, and as soon as I can find out who is doing that straining there will be one empty place in the Innermost Circle.

To them it was not a matter of right and wrong, of guilt or innocence, but of a tangle of competing jurisdictions, competing and conflicting statutes, possible alternative routes of prosecution and defense: a vast game-board in which it was 'fun' to stretch all rules to their elastic limit.