duc·​tile ˈdək-tᵊl How to pronounce ductile (audio)
of a metal : capable of being drawn out (see draw entry 1 sense 15) into wire or thread
ductile iron
: easily led or influenced
a vast portion of the public feels rather than thinks, a ductile multitude drawn easily by the arts of the demagogueAmy Loveman
: capable of being fashioned into a new form
Choose the Right Synonym for ductile

plastic, pliable, pliant, ductile, malleable, adaptable mean susceptible of being modified in form or nature.

plastic applies to substances soft enough to be molded yet capable of hardening into the desired fixed form.

plastic materials allow the sculptor greater freedom

pliable suggests something easily bent, folded, twisted, or manipulated.

pliable rubber tubing

pliant may stress flexibility and sometimes connote springiness.

an athletic shoe with a pliant sole

ductile applies to what can be drawn out or extended with ease.

ductile metals such as copper

malleable applies to what may be pressed or beaten into shape.

the malleable properties of gold

adaptable implies the capability of being easily modified to suit other conditions, needs, or uses.

computer hardware that is adaptable

Examples of ductile in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The researchers stipulated that the low-temperature adhesive should be ductile, stiff, and strong from -55°C to 100°C or higher in order to support the load throughout this temperature range. IEEE Spectrum, 2 Feb. 2021 As a result, the asthenosphere is considered more ductile — or malleable and able to stretch. Matt Benoit, Discover Magazine, 19 Dec. 2023 The two 6- and 8-inch pipes will be replaced with one new 12-inch ductile iron pipe. Kevin Dayhoff, Baltimore Sun, 9 Sep. 2023 After the 1971 Sylmar earthquake, non-ductile construction was deemed so unsafe that it was banned in future buildings by the 1980s. Rebecca Ellis, Los Angeles Times, 27 Mar. 2023 The 33 structures are considered to be non-ductile concrete buildings, were built before 1978 and have multiple stories. Rebecca Ellis, Los Angeles Times, 27 Mar. 2023 While Los Angeles County building standards were previously updated to ensure new construction can withstand seismic activity, non-ductile, concrete high-rises are prone to brittle behavior during an earthquake, according to the board of supervisors. Bynadine El-Bawab, ABC News, 1 Mar. 2023 There are also more than 1,000 non-ductile concrete buildings — the same kind experts say collapsed after the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Omar Villafranca, CBS News, 22 Feb. 2023 The flaws of non-ductile concrete construction are found across California, with many buildings having not been evaluated or retrofitted and at risk of collapse in a serious earthquake. Los Angeles Times, 11 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ductile.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English ductil, from Latin ductilis, from ducere — see duct entry 1

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ductile was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near ductile

Cite this Entry

“Ductile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ductile. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


duc·​tile ˈdək-tᵊl How to pronounce ductile (audio)
: capable of being drawn out (as into a wire) or hammered thin
ductile metal
ductility noun

Medical Definition


duc·​tile ˈdək-tᵊl How to pronounce ductile (audio) -ˌtīl How to pronounce ductile (audio)
: capable of being drawn out or hammered thin
ductile metal
ductility noun
plural ductilities

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