pli·​ant | \ ˈplī-ənt How to pronounce pliant (audio) \

Definition of pliant

2 : easily influenced : yielding
3 : suitable for varied uses

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Other Words from pliant

pliantly adverb
pliantness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for pliant


bendy [chiefly British], flexible, limber, lissome (also lissom), lithe, lithesome, pliable, supple, willowy


inflexible, rigid, stiff, stiffened

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Choose the Right Synonym for pliant

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 pliant in a Sentence

a pliant Congress that will do whatever the President wants a pliant branch bent low with the weight of ripe fruit

Recent Examples on the Web

Lambeau now has an advanced system of tubes circulating anti-freeze to keep the surface pliant and playable amid the snow and ice of a Wisconsin winter., "A History of Football in 100 Objects," 28 Aug. 2019 He is emboldened by a towering majority in parliament, won in an election earlier this year, and pliant opposition parties. The Economist, "Modi’s revocation of Kashmir’s autonomy," 9 Aug. 2019 In order to obtain the earthy, musky depth that makes the plant so pliant for perfumers, the leaves must be dried for several days and then steam-distilled to capture the potency of their fragrance at its prime. April Long, Town & Country, "Jackie Kennedy's Unexpected Love of Patchouli," 28 July 2019 More than merely pliant, Trump joins Putin in supporting right-wing nationalist parties throughout Europe, weakening the liberal order that has protected our freedom for seventy-five years. David Goldfischer, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Gardner has put pressure on Russia; now he must hold the president accountable," 21 June 2019 The use of these loan-only capital structures is rising, showing up in about 60% of buyouts, a sign of just how pliant investors have become. Los Angeles Times, "A leveraged loan collapses, revealing a key risk in credit market," 16 July 2019 Something of a war of wills ensues, in which the fierce but emotionally delicate Alina can’t seem to recognize that Voichita is no longer a pliant waif. David Mermelstein, WSJ, "Cinematic Treasures From an Unexpected Place," 22 Jan. 2019 FIBROBLASTS Plentiful in connective tissue throughout the body, including the dermis, these cells produce the collagen and elastin responsible for keeping skin pliant and springy. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 The testicles feel almost real — the skin is soft and gently wrinkly; the ball itself is firm, but pliant. Allison P. Davis, The Cut, "Are We Ready for Robot Sex?," 13 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pliant.' 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 pliant

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near pliant






plica alaris

plica circularis

Statistics for pliant

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for pliant

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

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More Definitions for pliant



English Language Learners Definition of pliant

: able to bend without breaking
: able to move freely
: too easily influenced or controlled by other people


pli·​ant | \ ˈplī-ənt How to pronounce pliant (audio) \

Kids Definition of pliant

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More from Merriam-Webster on pliant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pliant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pliant

Spanish Central: Translation of pliant

Nglish: Translation of pliant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pliant for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pliant

What made you want to look up pliant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

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