supple

adjective
sup·​ple | \ ˈsə-pəl also ˈsü- How to pronounce supple (audio) \
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

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

Antonyms: Adjective

inflexible, rigid, stiff, stiffened

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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

Her body was thick-waisted but supple, with a peasant’s grace—confident and humble both—and a quiet poise, greater than that of most beauties. Mary Gaitskill, The New Yorker, "This Is Pleasure," 8 July 2019 Skin looks suppler, and your cuticles will benefit too. 10. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 20 Best Instant Anti-Aging Beauty Secrets," 24 June 2019 These educators weave their magic with students young enough, with brains still supple enough, to memorize and recite poetry. Judith Samuelson, Quartz at Work, "Why Stephen Schwarzman’s big gift to Oxford matters for everyone else," 20 June 2019 Hooters waitress and model Briana Smith understands better than most the instinctive obsession with the human body, the careful study of its topography, the peaks and valleys of firm muscle sheathed in smooth, supple skin. Ben Crandell, sun-sentinel.com, "Meet Briana Smith: Miss Hooters International contestant and future mortician," 17 June 2019 The rich treatment is supple and feels heavy-gauge with neat stitching. (james Halfacre), San Diego Union-Tribune, "2019 Mazda3: elevated design, distinct character," 8 June 2019 The kale, blanched until bright green, is soft and supple, absorbing all that spicy, cheesy, olive oil-y goodness. Elyse Inamine, Bon Appétit, "The Kinda-Healthy Kale Pasta I Can Always Count On," 7 June 2019 After they dry, apply a leather conditioner, like GH Seal star Furniture Clinic Leather Protection Cream to help keep the leather soft and supple. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean White Vans so They Look Brand New," 17 May 2019 The innovative formula is also 60 percent charged water, which not only gives the foundation its unique gellike texture but also injects moisture directly into your skin, leaving it more hydrated, supple, and dewy looking. Glamour, "This Is the Only Foundation That Completely Covers My Chronically Red Skin," 30 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for supple

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for supple

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

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More Definitions for supple

supple

adjective

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with supple

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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