supple

adjective
sup·​ple | \ ˈsə-pəl How to pronounce supple (audio) also ˈsü- \
suppler\ ˈsə-​p(ə-​)lər How to pronounce supple (audio) \; supplest\ ˈsə-​p(ə-​)ləst How to pronounce supple (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 supple (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 supple (audio) \ or supply \ ˈsə-​p(ə-​)lē How to pronounce supple (audio) \ adverb
suppleness \ ˈsə-​pəl-​nəs How to pronounce supple (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 To help keep paintbrushes soft and supple, soak in vinegar and water for several hours. Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2021 Thankfully, with these PH5 sets, keeping skin soft and supple is as simple as getting dressed for bed. Michella Oré, Vogue, 4 Oct. 2021 Artisan-made using French White Clay, this natural exfoliator buffs skin to reveal smooth, soft, supple skin. Bianca Salonga, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 To help keep paintbrushes supple, soak in vinegar and water for several hours. Washington Post, 2 Sep. 2021 Despite the change, her hand movements seem remarkably supple and strong. BostonGlobe.com, 15 Aug. 2021 Mab & Stoke, meanwhile, is best known for its herbal supplements, but its Daily Defense Oil keeps skin supple for hours on end with organic rose hip, red raspberry seed, pomegranate seed, squalane and grapeseed oil. New York Times, 10 May 2021 Our car's cream-and-oxblood leather interior is gorgeous, exquisitely stitched, and painstakingly assembled—and just try to find a surface not covered by the supple hides. Rich Ceppos, Car and Driver, 7 July 2020 After a few sessions, skin appears softer, more supple and gently exfoliated. Georgia Murray, refinery29.com, 13 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for supple

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near supple

supplant

supple

supplejack

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Statistics for supple

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Supple.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supple. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for supple

supple

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of supple

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on supple

Nglish: Translation of supple for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of supple for Arabic Speakers

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