flex·​u·​ous | \ ˈflek-sh(ə-)wəs How to pronounce flexuous (audio) \

Definition of flexuous

1 : having curves, turns, or windings
2 : lithe or fluid in action or movement

Did you know?

English author Thomas Hardy was fond of the word flexuous and described his dark-haired Tess as "the most flexuous and finely-drawn figure." "Flexuous" may be a synonym of "curvy," but it's not the word most likely to be chosen these days to describe a shapely woman. The botanists' use of "flexuous" to describe plant stems that aren't rigid is a more typical use today. But don't let that tendency deflect you from occasionally employing this ultimately quite flexible word. Stemming straight from Latin flectere, meaning "to bend," it can also mean "undulating" or "fluid." It might, for example, be used of writing or music, or of something or someone that moves with a fluid sort of grace.

First Known Use of flexuous

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for flexuous

borrowed from Latin flexuōsus, from flexus "act of bending, bend, curve" (from flectere "to cause to go in a different direction, bend, curve" + -tus, suffix of action nouns) + -ōsus -ose entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About flexuous

Time Traveler for flexuous

Time Traveler

The first known use of flexuous was in 1605

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About flexuous

Dictionary Entries Near flexuous




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for flexuous

Cite this Entry

“Flexuous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flexuous. Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for flexuous


flex·​u·​ous | \ ˈfleksh-(ə-)wəs How to pronounce flexuous (audio) \

Medical Definition of flexuous

: lacking rigidity in structure or action flexuous filamentous virus particles— M. Hema et al.


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!