pliant

[plahy-uhnt]
See more synonyms for pliant on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  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

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

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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 pliant

Contemporary Examples of pliant

  • The ad reminds readers that there is no income tax in Texas, that the state has budget surpluses and “pliant labor laws.”

    The Daily Beast logo
    Texas Calls All Gun-Toting Yanks

    David Freedlander

    January 16, 2013

  • Bank bosses who refused were simply replaced with pliant sycophants.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Hold Onto Your Penis

    David Frum, Justin Green

    November 29, 2012

  • He called that pliant decision the biggest mistake of his presidency.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Speed Read: The Clinton Tapes

    The Daily Beast

    September 29, 2009

Historical Examples of pliant

  • So slight, yet so round, so trim, yet so pliant—she was grace itself.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede

    George MacDonald

  • The pileus is thin, pliant when fresh but somewhat brittle when dry.

  • Unhappily I am not a Greek woman, pliant to the whims of artists and voluptuaries.

    King Candaules

    Thophile Gautier

  • Bend to the earth our pliant knees, And speak—but as our masters please?

    The Liberty Minstrel

    George W. Clark

  • The atmosphere that surrounds us is so often treacherous to our pliant natures!

    The Choice of Life

    Georgette Leblanc


British Dictionary definitions for pliant

pliant

adjective
  1. easily bent; supplea pliant young tree
  2. easily modified; adaptable; flexiblea pliant system
  3. 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
adj.

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