supple

adjective
sup·​ple | \ ˈsə-pəl How to pronounce supple (audio) also ˈsü- \
suppler\ ˈsə-​p(ə-​)lər How to pronounce suppler (audio) \; supplest\ ˈsə-​p(ə-​)ləst How to pronounce supplest (audio) \

Definition of supple

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : compliant often to the point of obsequiousness
b : readily adaptable or responsive to new situations
2a : capable of being bent or folded without creases, cracks, or breaks : pliant supple leather
b : able to perform bending or twisting movements with ease : limber supple legs of a dancer
c : easy and fluent without stiffness or awkwardness sang with a lively, supple voice— Douglas Watt

supple

verb
suppled; suppling\ ˈsə-​p(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce suppling (audio) \

Definition of supple (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make pacific or complaisant supple the tempers of your race— Laurence Sterne
2 : to alleviate with a salve
3 : to make flexible or pliant

intransitive verb

: to become soft and pliant

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Other Words from supple

Adjective

supplely \ ˈsə-​pə(l)-​lē How to pronounce supplely (audio) \ or supply \ ˈsə-​p(ə-​)lē How to pronounce supply (audio) \ adverb
suppleness \ ˈsə-​pəl-​nəs How to pronounce suppleness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for supple

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for supple

Adjective

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

Examples of supple in a Sentence

Adjective a dome tent outfitted with supple fiberglass tent poles shoes made from supple leather
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective These formulas will leave your skin feeling and looking as supple and radiant as your favorite moisturizer. Devon Abelman, Allure, "The Best Foundations for Dry Skin, According to Makeup Artists," 9 July 2020 More moisture means softer, smoother, and more supple skin. Rozalynn S. Frazier, SELF, "The 13 Best New Facial Treatments," 8 July 2020 Under more civilized driving conditions, the Prime has a firm brake pedal that lacks any regenerative weirdness, its steering is responsive, and aside from letting a few sharp impacts reverberate through its structure, its ride quality is supple. David Beard, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is Quicker Than Supra 2.0," 2 July 2020 Not only does its supple Italian leather get better with age, the material is also easier to clean than regular canvas, keeping the shoes looking better longer. Lindsey Olander, Condé Nast Traveler, "11 White Sneakers That Pair With Everything In Your Suitcase," 8 June 2020 Light line and supple rods are best for crappie fishing. Popular Science, "A beginner’s guide to freshwater fishing," 1 June 2020 But the new car's damping is overly supple and sacrifices the tight body motions that characterized previous Cadillac sport sedans. Joey Capparella, Car and Driver, "The New CT5 Is a Step Backwards for Cadillac," 30 Jan. 2020 Cantonese is supple, playful, full of puns and double entendres. Yi-ling Liu, Harper's Magazine, "Dream State," 31 Aug. 2019 With his supple, approachable plays, Mr. McNally emerged as a pivotal American dramatist, particularly as art and politics collided during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s and 1990s. Abigail Hauslohner, Washington Post, "The first 1,000 U.S.," 12 Apr. 2020

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for supple

Adjective

Middle English souple, from Anglo-French suple, from Latin supplic-, supplex entreating for mercy, supplicant, perhaps from sub- + -plic- (akin to plicare to fold) — more at ply

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Time Traveler for supple

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for supple

Last Updated

24 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Supple.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supple. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for supple

supple

adjective
How to pronounce supple (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of supple

of a body or body part : able to bend or twist easily
: soft and able to bend or fold easily

supple

adjective
sup·​ple | \ ˈsə-pəl How to pronounce supple (audio) \
suppler\ ˈsə-​plər \; supplest\ ˈsə-​pləst \

Kids Definition of supple

1 : capable of bending or of being bent easily without stiffness, creases, or damage a supple body supple leather
2 : adaptable a supple mind

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More from Merriam-Webster on supple

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for supple

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with supple

Spanish Central: Translation of supple

Nglish: Translation of supple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of supple for Arabic Speakers

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