sup·​pli·​ant | \ ˈsə-plē-ənt How to pronounce suppliant (audio) \

Definition of suppliant

 (Entry 1 of 2)



Definition of suppliant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : humbly imploring : entreating a suppliant sinner seeking forgiveness— O. J. Baab
2 : expressing supplication upraised to the heavens … suppliant arms— William Styron

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Other Words from suppliant


suppliantly adverb

Examples of suppliant in a Sentence

Noun didn't like being in the position of a suppliant, having to ask her parents to help her pay the rent on her apartment Adjective the suppliant thief pleaded for a second chance
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun William pays price for grabbing The reaction of the male to his suppliants varies. National Geographic, "Jane Goodall’s original tale of chimpanzees still astonishes today," 17 Apr. 2019 Part of the progress, according to Mr. Selee, is a reaction against President Trump’s Mexiphobia, but the underlying influences are long-term and irreversible: Mexico is no longer a feeble suppliant but a potent, necessary partner. Felipe Fernández-armesto, WSJ, "‘Vanishing Frontiers’ Review: The Ties That Bind," 25 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'suppliant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of suppliant


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for suppliant


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from present participle of supplier to supplicate, from Latin supplicare


Middle French, present participle

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Time Traveler for suppliant

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The first known use of suppliant was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Suppliant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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