Synonyms & Antonyms of pliant

able to bend easily without breaking
  • a pliant branch bent low with the weight of ripe fruit

Synonyms for pliant

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Antonyms for pliant

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Frequently Asked Questions About pliant

How does the adjective pliant contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of pliant are adaptable, ductile, malleable, plastic, and pliable. While all these words mean "susceptible of being modified in form or nature," pliant may stress flexibility and sometimes connote springiness.

an athletic shoe with a pliant sole

When is it sensible to use adaptable instead of pliant?

While in some cases nearly identical to pliant, adaptable implies the capability of being easily modified to suit other conditions, needs, or uses.

computer hardware that is adaptable

Where would ductile be a reasonable alternative to pliant?

The synonyms ductile and pliant are sometimes interchangeable, but ductile applies to what can be drawn out or extended with ease.

ductile metals such as copper

When could malleable be used to replace pliant?

Although the words malleable and pliant have much in common, malleable applies to what may be pressed or beaten into shape.

the malleable properties of gold

When would plastic be a good substitute for pliant?

In some situations, the words plastic and pliant are roughly equivalent. However, 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 pliable a more appropriate choice than pliant?

The words pliable and pliant can be used in similar contexts, but pliable suggests something easily bent, folded, twisted, or manipulated.

pliable rubber tubing

Learn More About pliant

Time Traveler for pliant

Time Traveler

The first known use of pliant was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Pliant.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on pliant

Nglish: Translation of pliant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pliant for Arabic Speakers


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