supple

[ suhp-uh l ]
/ ˈsʌp əl /

adjective, sup·pler, sup·plest.

bending readily without breaking or becoming deformed; pliant; flexible: a supple bough.
characterized by ease in bending; limber; lithe: supple movements.
characterized by ease, responsiveness, and adaptability in mental action.
compliant or yielding.
obsequious; servile.

verb (used with or without object), sup·pled, sup·pling.

to make or become supple.

Origin of supple

1250–1300; (adj.) Middle English souple flexible, compliant < Old French: soft, yielding, lithe < Latin supplic- (stem of supplex) submissive, suppliant, equivalent to sup- sup- + -plic-, variously explained as akin to plicāre to fold1, bend (thus meaning “bent over”; cf. complex), or to plācāre to placate1 (thus meaning “in the attitude of a suppliant”); (v.) Middle English supplen to soften, derivative of the noun (compare Old French asoplir)

Related forms

sup·ple·ness, nounun·sup·ple, adjectiveun·sup·ple·ness, nounun·sup·p·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for supple

British Dictionary definitions for supple

supple

/ (ˈsʌpəl) /

adjective

bending easily without damage
capable of or showing easy or graceful movement; lithe
mentally flexible; responding readily
disposed to agree, sometimes to the point of servility

verb

rare to make or become supple

Derived Forms

suppleness, noun

Word Origin for supple

C13: from Old French souple, from Latin supplex bowed
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