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

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 Help ensure your skin feels soft and supple even as the temperatures hit freezing with this multipack of body lotion, now on sale for 36% off. Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored, "New at Amazon Outlet: Shop our 10 favorite steals," 31 Oct. 2019 These special lip conditioners are a must-have for keeping lips soft and supple this season. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "7 Lip Scrubs That Will Soothe Chapped Lips," 29 Oct. 2019 It's also infused with notes of pistachio and salted caramel, so your skin will not only feel supple but smell delicious, too. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Sol de Janeiro Just Restocked Its Sold-Out Biggie Biggie Bum Bum Cream," 27 Sep. 2018 Throughout the album, stately piano, brushed drums, delicately plucked acoustic guitar and throaty upright bass provide a framework for Gill’s supple tenor. Chrissie Dickinson, chicagotribune.com, "Vince Gill gets open and personal on his latest album, ‘Okie’," 6 Sep. 2019 The touring Evan, Ben Levi Ross, possessed of a rewardingly supple voice and wounded mien of the kid picked last in gym class, proves a worthy inheritor of the role created by Platt. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "Welcome home, ‘Dear Evan Hansen.’ You’re back where you belong.," 8 Aug. 2019 On 2500s, Ram uses a relatively supple five-link coil spring setup (or air bags). Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Ram 3500 Is Textbook Outrageous," 22 July 2019 Arsani’s chants wove through trebly guitar lines, anchored by a punk-funk groove that was supple and resolute. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "Mdou Moctar lets his fingers do the talking during Black Cat show," 8 Sep. 2019 The contrast between silky toast and sweet pear highlights a bright acidity and a rich finish that will become more supple and dynamic with age. Rachel King, Fortune, "Seven Ways to Enjoy White (Wine) After Labor Day," 31 Aug. 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

14 Nov 2019

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
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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