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[flek-suh-buh l] /ˈflɛk sə bəl/
capable of being bent, usually without breaking; easily bent:
a flexible ruler.
susceptible of modification or adaptation; adaptable:
a flexible schedule.
willing or disposed to yield; pliable:
a flexible personality.
a flexible substance or material, as rubber or leather.
Origin of flexible
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin flexibilis pliant, easily bent. See flex1, -ible
Related forms
flexibility, flexibleness, noun
flexibly, adverb
hyperflexibility, noun
hyperflexible, adjective
hyperflexibleness, noun
hyperflexibly, adverb
nonflexibility, noun
nonflexible, adjective
nonflexibleness, noun
nonflexibly, adverb
unflexibility, noun
unflexible, adjective
unflexibly, adverb
1. pliable, elastic, supple. Flexible, limber, pliant refer to that which bends easily. Flexible refers to that which is capable of being bent and adds sometimes the idea of compressibility or expansibility: a flexible piece of rubber hose. Limber is especially applied to the body to refer to ease of movement; it resembles flexible except that there is an idea of even greater ease in bending: a limber dancer. Pliant stresses an inherent quality or tendency to bend that does not require force or pressure from the outside; it may mean merely adaptable or may have a derogatory sense: a pliant character. 2. tractable, compliant.
1. stiff. 2. rigid. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for flexibly
Historical Examples
  • The speaker of the monologue must accentuate the effect of his interlocutor as flexibly and freely as in the case of the dialogue.

  • This is flexibly adjusted to the rope and drawn across lower window-casings.

    Oswald Langdon Carson Jay Lee
  • She drew forth a volume, flexibly bound, like a small loose-leaf ledger.

    The Voice on the Wire Eustace Hale Ball
  • “Position” in New York means a corpulent purse whose strings work as flexibly as the dorsal muscles of a professional toady.

    The Arena Various
  • This means operations must be coordinated and orchestrated carefully and flexibly as enemy reaction to the attack is evaluated.

    Shock and Awe Harlan K. Ullman
British Dictionary definitions for flexibly


Also flexile (ˈflɛksaɪl). able to be bent easily without breaking; pliable
adaptable or variable: flexible working hours
able to be persuaded easily; tractable
Derived Forms
flexibility, flexibleness, noun
flexibly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for flexibly



early 15c., from Middle French flexible or directly from Latin flexibilis "that may be bent, pliant, flexible, yielding;" figuratively "tractable, inconstant," from flexus, past participle of flectere "to bend," of uncertain origin. Related: Flexibly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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flexibly in Medicine

flexible flex·i·ble (flěk'sə-bəl)

  1. Capable of being bent or flexed.

  2. Capable of being bent repeatedly without injury or damage.

flex'i·bil'i·ty or flex'i·ble·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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