supple


1sup·ple

adjective \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

1
a :  compliant often to the point of obsequiousness
b :  readily adaptable or responsive to new situations
2
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

2supple

verb
sup·pledsup·pling \-p(ə-)liŋ\

Definition of SUPPLE

transitive verb
1
:  to make pacific or complaisant <supple the tempers of your race — Laurence Sterne>
2
:  to alleviate with a salve
3
:  to make flexible or pliant
intransitive verb
:  to become soft and pliant

First Known Use of SUPPLE

14th century

Rhymes with SUPPLE

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: supplejack
Previous Word in the Dictionary: supplant
All Words Near: supple

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up supple? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More