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 formsmal·le·a·bly, adverbmal·le·a·bil·i·ty, mal·le·a·ble·ness, nounnon·mal·le·a·ble, adjectiveun·mal·le·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms for malleable

Antonyms for malleable Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for malleable

Contemporary Examples of malleable

Historical Examples of malleable

  • From it she judged him malleable now, that had been so stern and unyielding before.

  • 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 Formsmalleability or rare malleableness, nounmalleably, adverb

Word Origin for malleable

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

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

Medicine definitions for malleable




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

Science definitions for malleable



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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.