Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective adaptable contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of adaptable are ductile, malleable, plastic, pliable, and pliant. While all these words mean "susceptible of being modified in form or nature," adaptable implies the capability of being easily modified to suit other conditions, needs, or uses.

computer hardware that is adaptable

When is it sensible to use ductile instead of adaptable?

While in some cases nearly identical to adaptable, ductile applies to what can be drawn out or extended with ease.

ductile metals such as copper

When would malleable be a good substitute for adaptable?

In some situations, the words malleable and adaptable are roughly equivalent. However, malleable applies to what may be pressed or beaten into shape.

the malleable properties of gold

In what contexts can plastic take the place of adaptable?

The words plastic and adaptable are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, plastic applies to substances soft enough to be molded yet capable of hardening into the desired fixed form.

plastic materials allow the sculptor greater freedom

When can pliable be used instead of adaptable?

The synonyms pliable and adaptable are sometimes interchangeable, but pliable suggests something easily bent, folded, twisted, or manipulated.

pliable rubber tubing

When is pliant a more appropriate choice than adaptable?

The meanings of pliant and adaptable largely overlap; however, pliant may stress flexibility and sometimes connote springiness.

an athletic shoe with a pliant sole

Thesaurus Entries Near adaptable

Cite this Entry

“Adaptable.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on adaptable

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!