[ plahy-uhnt ]
See synonyms for: pliantpliancypliantness on

  1. bending readily; flexible; supple; adaptable: She manipulated the pliant clay.

  2. easily influenced; yielding to others; compliant: He has a pliant nature.

Origin of pliant

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English, from Old French, present participle of the verbplier ply2; see -ant

synonym study For pliant

1, 2. See flexible.

Other words for pliant

Other words from pliant

  • pli·an·cy, pli·ant·ness, noun
  • pli·ant·ly, adverb
  • non·pli·an·cy, noun
  • non·pli·ant, adjective
  • non·pli·ant·ly, adverb
  • non·pli·ant·ness, noun
  • un·pli·an·cy, noun
  • un·pli·ant, adjective
  • un·pli·ant·ly, adverb
  • un·pli·ant·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pliant in a sentence

  • There is a pliancy and a brilliancy about him which make him one of the most delightful companions.

    The Life of Mrs. Humphry Ward | Janet Penrose Trevelyan
  • At the same time, her motions were not awkward; she managed her rectilinear body with a surprising ease and pliancy.

    An Ambitious Woman | Edgar Fawcett

British Dictionary definitions for pliant


/ (ˈplaɪənt) /

  1. easily bent; supple: a pliant young tree

  2. easily modified; adaptable; flexible: a pliant system

  1. yielding readily to influence; compliant

Origin of pliant

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

Derived forms of pliant

  • pliancy or pliantness, noun
  • pliantly, 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