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

Nearby words

  1. pleyel,
  2. plf,
  3. plf.,
  4. pli,
  5. pliable,
  6. pliantly,
  7. plica,
  8. plicae,
  9. plicate,
  10. plicately

Origin of pliant

1300–50; Middle English < Old French, present participle of plier to ply2; see -ant

1, 2. pliable, flexile. See flexible. 2. manageable, tractable, docile.

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pliant

British Dictionary definitions for pliant



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 pliant



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