Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Word of the Year is...

supple

[suhp-uh l] /ˈsʌp əl/
adjective, suppler, supplest.
1.
bending readily without breaking or becoming deformed; pliant; flexible:
a supple bough.
2.
characterized by ease in bending; limber; lithe:
supple movements.
3.
characterized by ease, responsiveness, and adaptability in mental action.
4.
compliant or yielding.
5.
obsequious; servile.
verb (used with or without object), suppled, suppling.
6.
to make or become supple.
Origin of supple
1250-1300
1250-1300; (adj.) Middle English souple flexible, compliant < Old French: soft, yielding, lithe < Latin supplic- (stem of supplex) submissive, suppliant, equivalent to sup- sup- + -plic-, variously explained as akin to plicāre to fold1, bend (thus meaning “bent over”; cf. complex), or to plācāre to placate1 (thus meaning “in the attitude of a suppliant”); (v.) Middle English supplen to soften, derivative of the noun (compare Old French asoplir)
Related forms
suppleness, noun
unsupple, adjective
unsuppleness, noun
unsupply, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for suppler
Historical Examples
  • Her fingers were suppler than her mother's, and she scarcely spoke except to answer the latter's querulous questions.

    The Burial of the Guns Thomas Nelson Page
  • She had breathed; her limbs were suppler; her action was freer, easier, lighter.

    Rookwood William Harrison Ainsworth
  • The birds were about the size of the hermit thrushes, but lither and suppler.

    Birds of the Rockies Leander Sylvester Keyser
  • They got Gib down, but I that was suppler, managed to jook among the young oak-trees and run what I was fit back to the troop.

    The Men of the Moss-Hags S. R. Crockett
British Dictionary definitions for suppler

supple

/ˈsʌpəl/
adjective
1.
bending easily without damage
2.
capable of or showing easy or graceful movement; lithe
3.
mentally flexible; responding readily
4.
disposed to agree, sometimes to the point of servility
verb
5.
(rare) to make or become supple
Derived Forms
suppleness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French souple, from Latin supplex bowed
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for suppler

supple

adj.

c.1300, from Old French souple "pliant, flexible," from Gallo-Romance *supples, from Latin supplex (genitive supplicis) "submissive, humbly begging," literally "bending, kneeling down," thought to be an altered form of *supplacos "humbly pleading, appeasing," from sub "under" + placare "appease" (see placate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for supple

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for suppler

11
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for suppler