Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective pliable contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of pliable are adaptable, ductile, malleable, plastic, and pliant. While all these words mean "susceptible of being modified in form or nature," pliable suggests something easily bent, folded, twisted, or manipulated.

pliable rubber tubing

In what contexts can adaptable take the place of pliable?

The words adaptable and pliable can be used in similar contexts, but adaptable implies the capability of being easily modified to suit other conditions, needs, or uses.

computer hardware that is adaptable

When would ductile be a good substitute for pliable?

The words ductile and pliable are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, ductile applies to what can be drawn out or extended with ease.

ductile metals such as copper

When might malleable be a better fit than pliable?

While in some cases nearly identical to pliable, malleable applies to what may be pressed or beaten into shape.

the malleable properties of gold

When can plastic be used instead of pliable?

Although the words plastic and pliable have much in common, 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 is pliant a more appropriate choice than pliable?

In some situations, the words pliant and pliable are roughly equivalent. However, pliant may stress flexibility and sometimes connote springiness.

an athletic shoe with a pliant sole

Thesaurus Entries Near pliable

Cite this Entry

“Pliable.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on pliable

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