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



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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 Jane Seymour, his third wife, as pliant as Anne Boleyn was petulant, at last produces the male heir that Anne, and Katherine of Aragon before her, did not. Thomas Mallon, New York Times, "Crashing Henry VIII’s Court One Last Time With Hilary Mantel," 25 Feb. 2020 But Redstone enlisted the support of pliant board members and executives to orchestrate the deal, according to a 117-page lawsuit filed in Delaware Chancery Court, which was made public this week. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, "Shareholder lawsuit blasts Shari Redstone’s ‘persistent influence’ in Viacom-CBS merger," 24 Apr. 2020 Silva is a tortilla artist; Sonoran-style flour discs are her pliant canvases. Los Angeles Times, "20 great L.A. places for Mexican food delivery and takeout," 3 Apr. 2020 In the sublime Adagietto, the string sound was glowing and plush; the phrasing urgent yet pliant. New York Times, "Review: An Orchestra Opens Its Mouth, and Sings," 25 Feb. 2020 The pleasure here lies in the riot of textures: raw bite from minced onion, pliant crunch from the cheese shreds that hit the grill, and the deeply juicy filling of beef and cheese. Soleil Ho,, "The best new Bay Area pop-ups of 2019," 12 Dec. 2019 If Donald Trump is re-elected, investors might anticipate an assault on the Fed’s independence which includes replacing Jerome Powell, its head, with a more pliant figure when his term expires in 2022. The Economist, "The World in 2020 Prepare for an unusual kind of downturn," 30 Dec. 2019 Services from Facebook, Google, Twitter and other U.S. companies are kept out (which also cleared the way for pliant, homegrown tech giants such as Weibo, Baidu and WeChat to emerge). Karen Leigh, Washington Post, "Cybersovereignty," 28 Oct. 2019 Adding a dose of absurdity to the broth, the city’s ever-pliant landmarks commission in 2012 found old Prentice worthy of preliminary designation — and rescinded the decision at the same meeting based on an economic impact report. Blair Kamin,, "Is Northwestern’s new medical research building a world-class structure? The building, and the answer, are incomplete.," 13 June 2019

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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Time Traveler for pliant

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pliant

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pliant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for pliant


How to pronounce pliant (audio)

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pliant

Spanish Central: Translation of pliant

Nglish: Translation of pliant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pliant for Arabic Speakers

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