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[mal-ee-uh-buh l] /ˈmæl i ə bəl/
capable of being extended or shaped by hammering or by pressure from rollers.
adaptable or tractable:
the malleable mind of a child.
Origin of malleable
1350-1400; Middle English malliable < Medieval Latin malleābilis, equivalent to malle(āre) to hammer (derivative of Latin malleus hammer) + -ābilis -able
Related forms
malleably, adverb
malleability, malleableness, noun
nonmalleable, adjective
unmalleable, adjective
2. impressionable, moldable, flexible, pliable.
2. refractory, intractable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for malleable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • From it she judged him malleable now, that had been so stern and unyielding before.

    The Trampling of the Lilies Rafael Sabatini
  • They were poor things, but they were malleable in his hands.

    The Worshippers Damon Francis Knight
  • Everything was getting too near the end to be malleable any more.

    The Coast of Chance Esther Chamberlain
  • Watt was not made of malleable stuff, and, besides, he was tied to his mission.

    James Watt Andrew Carnegie
  • The creative energy of love demands an indetermined and malleable future.

    The Complex Vision John Cowper Powys
British Dictionary definitions for malleable


(esp of metal) able to be worked, hammered, or shaped under pressure or blows without breaking
able to be influenced; pliable or tractable
Derived Forms
malleability, (rare) malleableness, noun
malleably, adverb
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Medieval Latin malleābilis, from Latin malleus hammer
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 malleable

late 14c., "capable of being shaped by hammering," from Middle French malleable and directly from Medieval Latin malleabilis, from malleare "to beat with a hammer," from Latin malleus "hammer" (see mallet). Figurative sense, of persons, "capable of being adapted" first recorded 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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malleable in Medicine

malleable mal·le·a·ble (māl'ē-ə-bəl)

  1. Capable of being shaped or formed, as by hammering or pressure.

  2. Easily controlled or influenced; tractable.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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malleable in Science
Capable of great deformation without breaking, when subject to compressive stress. Gold is the most malleable metal. Compare ductile.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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