[plahy-uh-buh l]


easily bent; flexible; supple: pliable leather.
easily influenced or persuaded; yielding: the pliable mind of youth.
adjusting readily to change; adaptable.

Origin of pliable

1425–75; late Middle English < French, equivalent to pli(er) to ply2 + -able -able
Related formspli·a·bil·i·ty, pli·a·ble·ness, nounpli·a·bly, adverbnon·pli·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·pli·a·ble, adjectivenon·pli·a·ble·ness, nounnon·pli·a·bly, adverbun·pli·a·ble, adjectiveun·pli·a·ble·ness, nounun·pli·a·bly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pliability

Historical Examples of pliability

  • The grander the nature the greater its pliability towards truth.

  • If I fail, recollect that he is not proverbial for pliability.


    Augusta Jane Evans Wilson

  • When dried the leather should always be treated with dressing to restore its pliability.

  • It was not clever to rest so much on the pliability of a “society lady” with whom she was unacquainted.

    The Arena


  • Beneath her pliability she was now all firmness; the pliability had become a mockery.

    A Far Country, Complete

    Winston Churchill

British Dictionary definitions for pliability



easily moulded, bent, influenced, or altered
Derived Formspliability or pliableness, nounpliably, 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 pliability



late 14c., from Old French ploiable "flexible, bendable," from plier "to bend" (see ply (n.)). Related: Pliably, pliability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper