malleable

adjective
mal·lea·ble | \ ˈma-lē-ə-bəl , ˈmal-yə-bəl , ˈma-lə-bəl \

Definition of malleable 

1 : capable of being extended or shaped by beating with a hammer or by the pressure of rollers

2a : capable of being altered or controlled by outside forces or influences

b : having a capacity for adaptive change

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Other words from malleable

malleability \ˌma-lē-ə-ˈbi-lə-tē, ˌmal-yə-, ˌma-lə- \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for malleable

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

Did You Know?

There is a hint about the origins of "malleable" in its first definition. The earliest uses of the word, which first appeared in English in the 14th century, referred primarily to metals that could be reshaped by beating with a hammer. The Middle English word malliable comes to us from Medieval Latin malleabilis, which in turn derives from the Latin verb malleare, meaning "to hammer." "Malleare" itself was created from the Latin word for "hammer": "malleus." If you have guessed that "maul" and "mallet," other English words for specific types of hammers, can also be traced back to "malleus," you have hit the nail on the head.

Examples of malleable in a Sentence

The brothers Warner presented a flexible, malleable world that defied Newton, a world of such plasticity that anything imaginable was possible. —Billy Collins, Wall Street Journal, 28–29 June 2008 At each landing the villagers had carved the wonderfully malleable silt into staircases, terraces, crenellations, and ziggurats. —Kenneth Brower, National Geographic Traveler, March 2000 The boy seemed to me possessed by a blind, invalid arrogance, and every human being, as his eye flicked over or flinched against them, became, immediately, as malleable as his mother and his father. —James Baldwin, The Evidence of Things Not Seen, 1985 the cult leader took advantage of the malleable, compliant personalities of his followers
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Recent Examples on the Web

Even in such a unsteady industry, the album has remained a constant, and malleable, asset. Jason Parham, WIRED, "Beyoncé and Jay-Z's Everything Is Love Marks a New Step in the Album's Evolution," 19 June 2018 Whereas cars and computers are made of rigid metal and plastic, clothing is by its nature malleable. Sophie Weiner, Popular Mechanics, "A Robot Can Finally Sew a T-Shirt," 30 Sep. 2016 Yet this is a political climate that says facts are malleable, and expertise itself is a kind of sham — so where does that leave philosophers? Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, "Our summer of fear: A conversation with Chicago philosopher Martha Nussbaum," 9 July 2018 Unfortunately, this highly malleable display technology won’t likely be available to buy just yet. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Microsoft has been dreaming of a pocketable dual-screen Surface device for years," 2 July 2018 Since Cincinnati altered its tactics against Pittsburgh on April 22 – four days after Lahoud arrived – the midfield has been multifaceted and malleable. Charlie Hatch, Cincinnati.com, "Michael Lahoud is a midfield buoy for FC Cincinnati in USL play," 5 July 2018 By related logic, VR—duplicable and malleable—is a fraud, and an insidious one. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Westworld’s Virtual Afterlife Might Not Be Fiction," 27 June 2018 In other words, morality is malleable and varies with the political identification of the president who makes the nomination. WSJ, "Haspel, the CIA, Government and Morality," 23 May 2018 And White House spokesman Raj Shah on Thursday suggested the president would not propose specific legislative language on guns, leading to the unmistakable conclusion that Trump's commitment on this could be pretty malleable. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "The Trump paradox: A weakened president who could do the impossible," 23 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of malleable

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for malleable

Middle English malliable, from Medieval Latin malleabilis, from malleare to hammer, from Latin malleus hammer — more at maul

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Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for malleable

The first known use of malleable was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for malleable

malleable

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of malleable

: capable of being stretched or bent into different shapes

: capable of being easily changed or influenced

malleable

adjective
mal·lea·ble | \ ˈma-lē-ə-bəl , ˈmal-yə-bəl \

Kids Definition of malleable

: capable of being extended or shaped with blows from a hammer

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