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See more synonyms for pliant on Thesaurus.com
  1. bending readily; flexible; supple; adaptable: She manipulated the pliant clay.
  2. easily influenced; yielding to others; compliant: He has a pliant nature.
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Origin of pliant

1300–50; Middle English < Old French, present participle of plier to ply2; see -ant
Related formspli·an·cy, pli·ant·ness, nounpli·ant·ly, adverbnon·pli·an·cy, nounnon·pli·ant, adjectivenon·pli·ant·ly, adverbnon·pli·ant·ness, nounun·pli·an·cy, nounun·pli·ant, adjectiveun·pli·ant·ly, adverbun·pli·ant·ness, noun


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1, 2. pliable, flexile. See flexible. 2. manageable, tractable, docile.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pliancy

Historical Examples

  • Not a trace was left of her former manner; all was ease, pliancy, and elegance.

    The Daltons, Volume I (of II)

    Charles James Lever

  • The difficulty was, then, to give to old wood the pliancy of young.

  • It is exactly this pliancy, so foreign to your character and habits, which makes me tremble.

    The Bee Hunters

    Gustave Aimard

  • Mrs. Mortimer put her motherly arms about the girl, but she found no pliancy.

    The Carpet from Bagdad

    Harold MacGrath

  • Immersion in hot water, however, restores its softness and pliancy.

British Dictionary definitions for pliancy


  1. easily bent; supplea pliant young tree
  2. easily modified; adaptable; flexiblea pliant system
  3. yielding readily to influence; compliant
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Derived Formspliancy or pliantness, nounpliantly, adverb

Word Origin

C14: from Old French, from plier to fold, bend; see ply ²
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 pliancy



late 14c., from Old French ploiant "bending, supple; compliant, fickle," as a noun, "turncoat" (13c.), present participle of ploier "to bend" (see ply (n.)). Figurative sense of "easily influenced" is from c.1400. Related: Pliancy.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper