bending readily; flexible; supple; adaptable: She manipulated the pliant clay.
easily influenced; yielding to others; compliant: He has a pliant nature.

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

Synonyms for pliant

1, 2. pliable, flexile. See flexible. 2. manageable, tractable, docile. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pliancy

Historical Examples of pliancy

British Dictionary definitions for pliancy



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

Word Origin for pliant

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper