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

Examples from the Web for flexibly

Historical Examples of flexibly

  • 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


  • 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 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 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

flexibly in Medicine




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.