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

Buffalo is looking to go 2-0 in Meadowlands games against the Giants’ supple defense. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "The Loop Fantasy Football Update Week 2: Last-minute moves," 15 Sep. 2019 That training helped Maxi cultivate his approach, and as each of the 14 tracks on It All Comes Back to Love verify, his vocals remain as captivating and supple as those heard on his hits from the '80s and '90s. Patricia Meschino, Billboard, "Maxi Priest Shares Two Tracks From Shaggy-Produced 'It All Comes Back to Love': Premiere," 22 Aug. 2019 His hands — which have to be both powerful and supple to play upright bass — are stronger. Washington Post, "He was a homeless musician. Now he and his beloved bass are performing again.," 2 Aug. 2019 Other sequences, set in the interior of the farmhouse, are softly backlit with what looks like natural light, casting everyone’s face in a supple glow. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'A Beautiful Summer' ('Le Bel été'): Film Review," 22 July 2019 Gently handled by keeper Benjamin Fan, Wally even permits a visitor to caress her supple, squamate skin. San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘Roos, geese, and a blue-tongued lizard: Behind the scenes at San Diego Zoo Safari Park," 8 June 2019 The supple, sensational voice of Jennifer Myor takes on two: Hannah Chaplin, mother filled with powers of observation and emotional sensitivity, and Hedda Hopper, vengeful, self-righteous gossip columnist. cleveland.com, "The arts help us honor the past and envision the future: Sun Messages," 6 July 2019 Pick up a mix of walnuts and sunflower seeds for omega-3s, get a side of sweet potatoes for a Beta-carotene boost and add an avocado to a salad or sandwich, these healthy fats equal soft, supple skin. Essence, "5 Tips to Stage-Worthy, Festival Skin," 3 July 2019 Impressive for both its stature and supple lines, this four-bedroom, three-and-one-half bathroom home evokes casual elegance. Bang Staff And Correspondents, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Casual elegance infuses this modern Mediterranean," 1 July 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

19 Sep 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

Comments on supple

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