What does plastic mean?

Credit card

Plastic is another way to refer to a credit card, typically in the context of spending money. For example, you may tell your friends that you'll pick up the tab at the bar with your plastic.

The slang term comes from the plastic-like material used to make credit cards. Plastic gained prominence in the 1980s and 1990s as credit cards became more commonplace, allowing people to charge purchases to their accounts via their plastic.

While plastic typically refers to credit cards, it may also refer to other monetary cards, such as debit cards and gift cards. Conversely, people often refer to cash as paper, even though it's technically cloth.


Do they take plastic at the concession stand or only cash?

Charging purchases to your plastic

Related Slang


Updated September 12, 2022

Plastic definition by

This page explains what the slang term "Plastic" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

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