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A gasket is a mechanical seal which fills the space between two or more mating surfaces, generally to prevent leakage from or into the joined objects while under compression.
Gaskets allow for "less-than-perfect" mating surfaces on machine parts where they can fill irregularities. Gaskets are commonly produced by cutting from sheet materials.
It is usually desirable that the gasket be made from a material that is to some degree yielding such that it is able to deform and tightly fill the space it is designed for, including any slight irregularities. A few gaskets require an application of sealant directly to the gasket surface to function properly.