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

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin flexibilis pliant, easily bent. See flex1, -ible
Related formsflex·i·bil·i·ty, flex·i·ble·ness, nounflex·i·bly, adverbhy·per·flex·i·bil·i·ty, nounhy·per·flex·i·ble, adjectivehy·per·flex·i·ble·ness, nounhy·per·flex·i·bly, adverbnon·flex·i·bil·i·ty, nounnon·flex·i·ble, adjectivenon·flex·i·ble·ness, nounnon·flex·i·bly, adverbun·flex·i·bil·i·ty, nounun·flex·i·ble, adjectiveun·flex·i·bly, adverb

Synonyms for flexible

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.

Antonyms for flexible

1. stiff. 2. rigid.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for flexible



Also: flexile (ˈflɛksaɪl) able to be bent easily without breaking; pliable
adaptable or variableflexible working hours
able to be persuaded easily; tractable
Derived Formsflexibility or flexibleness, nounflexibly, 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

Word Origin and History for flexible

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

Medicine definitions for flexible




Capable of being bent or flexed.
Capable of being bent repeatedly without injury or damage.
Related formsflex′i•bili•ty null n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.