adjective flex·i·ble \ ˈflek-sə-bəl \
|Updated on: 12 Aug 2018

Definition of flexible

1 : capable of being flexed : pliant
  • flexible branches swaying in the breeze
2 : yielding to influence : tractable
  • a flexible person without strong convictions
3 : characterized by a ready capability to adapt to new, different, or changing requirements
  • a flexible foreign policy
  • a flexible schedule


play \ˌflek-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun


play \ˈflek-sə-blē\ adverb

Examples of flexible in a Sentence

  1. flexible branches swaying in the breeze

  2. a material that is both strong and flexible

  3. She's been doing exercises to become stronger and more flexible.

  4. Our schedule for the weekend is very flexible.

  5. This computer program has to be flexible to meet all our needs.

  6. Whatever you want to do is fine with me. I'm flexible.

Recent Examples of flexible from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of flexible

Middle English, borrowed from Latin flexibilis, from flexus (past participle of flectere "to cause to go in a different direction, bend, curve," of uncertain origin) + -ibilis -ible

Synonym Discussion of flexible

elastic, resilient, springy, flexible, supple mean able to endure strain without being permanently injured. elastic implies the property of resisting deformation by stretching.
    • an elastic waistband
resilient implies the ability to recover shape quickly when the deforming force or pressure is removed.
    • a resilient innersole
springy stresses both the ease with which something yields to pressure and the quickness of its return to original shape.
    • the cake is done when the top is springy
flexible applies to something which may or may not be resilient or elastic but which can be bent or folded without breaking.
    • flexible plastic tubing
supple applies to something that can be readily bent, twisted, or folded without any sign of injury.
    • supple leather

FLEXIBLE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of flexible for English Language Learners

  • : capable of bending or being bent

  • : easily changed : able to change or to do different things

  • : willing to change or to try different things

FLEXIBLE Defined for Kids


adjective flex·i·ble \ ˈflek-sə-bəl \

Definition of flexible for Students

1 : possible or easy to bend
  • flexible plastic
2 : easily changed
  • a flexible schedule

Word Root of flexible

The Latin word flectere, meaning “to bend” or “to curve,” and its form flexus give us the roots flect and flex. Words from the Latin flectere have something to do with bending or curving. To flex is to cause something, such as a muscle, to curve or bend. Something flexible can be bent without breaking. To deflect, or turn aside, is to bend the direction of something. To reflect is to bend an image back to the person looking at a mirror or other shiny surface.

Medical Dictionary


adjective flex·i·ble \ ˈflek-sə-bəl \

medical Definition of flexible

: capable of being flexed : capable of being turned, bowed, or twisted without breaking
  • flexible bandages
  • a flexible fiber-optic bronchoscope


play \ˌflek-sə-ˈbil-ət-ē\ noun, plural -ties

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excessive admiration or flattery

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