adjective sup·ple \ˈsə-pəl also ˈsü-\

of a body or body part : able to bend or twist easily

: soft and able to bend or fold easily

sup·pler \-p(ə-)lər\ sup·plest \-p(ə-)ləst\

Full Definition of SUPPLE

a :  compliant often to the point of obsequiousness
b :  readily adaptable or responsive to new situations
a :  capable of being bent or folded without creases, cracks, or breaks :  pliant <supple leather>
b :  able to perform bending or twisting movements with ease :  limber <supple legs of a dancer>
c :  easy and fluent without stiffness or awkwardness <sang with a lively, supple voice — Douglas Watt>
sup·ple·ly \-pə(l)-lē\ or sup·ply \-p(ə-)lē\ adverb
sup·ple·ness \-pəl-nəs\ noun

Examples of SUPPLE

  1. <a dome tent outfitted with supple fiberglass tent poles>
  2. <shoes made from supple leather>

Origin of SUPPLE

Middle English souple, from Anglo-French suple, from Latin supplic-, supplex entreating for mercy, supplicant, perhaps from sub- + -plic- (akin to plicare to fold) — more at ply
First Known Use: 14th century


sup·pledsup·pling \-p(ə-)liŋ\

Definition of SUPPLE

transitive verb
:  to make pacific or complaisant <supple the tempers of your race — Laurence Sterne>
:  to alleviate with a salve
:  to make flexible or pliant
intransitive verb
:  to become soft and pliant

First Known Use of SUPPLE

14th century

Rhymes with SUPPLE


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