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 demagogue Amy 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The vehicle's ductile metallic outer layer will be lined with small cavities to flow propellant through the material to keep it cool during reentry. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 10 Oct. 2022 Basically, steel is iron, with a little carbon added in to increase strength: tiny carbon atoms nestle between the larger iron ones, making the steel denser and more ductile. Matthew Hutson, The New Yorker, 18 Sep. 2021 One of her teachers there was the conceptual artist Allan Kaprow, who had a long familiarity with Asian art and viewed both art and culture as ductile categories. New York Times, 22 Aug. 2021 On the same day that Marchitelli and Lorusso were going street-by-street with their sound equipment, a separate crew had fenced off a portion of a block in downtown Bari, laying new, blue pipes of ductile iron. Washington Post, 30 July 2021 This technique, known as annealing, realigned the atoms and relaxed their bonds, making the metal more ductile. Burkhard Bilger, The New Yorker, 23 Nov. 2020 Gold is ductile and can conduct electricity, for example. Brent Schrotenboer, USA TODAY, 28 Aug. 2020 His 2017 diagnosis of invasive ductile carcinoma was triggered by a mutation of his BRCA2 gene, which can raise the risk of developing breast, prostate and ovarian cancers. Lauren Caruba, ExpressNews.com, 28 Dec. 2019 The work includes the replacement of the existing water main at 73rd Avenue between North Avenue and Bloomingdale Avenue with a new 8-inch ductile iron water main. Pioneer Press, chicagotribune.com, 14 May 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ductile.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 3 Dec. 2022.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on ductile

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