Definition of pliant in English:



  • 1Easily bent:

    ‘pliant willow stems’
    • ‘Most readers will be familiar with the various physical exercises and postures of yoga, the purpose of which is to make the body supple, pliant, and healthy.’
    • ‘She had missed those soft, full, and pliant lips.’
    • ‘A lazy grin spreading over his sleepy face, Shanza burrowed into the heat happily, nose pressed against something soft and pliant.’
    • ‘At first glance, the powered parachute appears a hermaphroditic aircraft - half loud, thrusting engine, half soft, pliant airfoil.’
    • ‘Whatever halted their ungainly landing recovery, however, was a great deal softer and more pliant than the opposing wall of the tunnel would have been.’
    • ‘This makes the leather soft and pliant, and suitable for such things as clothing.’
    • ‘Her heart, like a girl's upon glimpsing a bride, beat faster at what she saw; a woman with large eyes and long hair down to her waist, her body pliant.’
    • ‘From olden times the principle of gentleness has been symbolized by a willow branch or a bamboo, which is pliant and not easily broken.’
    • ‘She threw enough flour in the pot for the batter to finally seem doughy, and it began to feel soft and pliant and I could take it out of the mixing pot to knead it.’
    • ‘A different set of lips, soft and pliant, not demanding, rained kisses down his throat, then stopped.’
    • ‘The fabrics are soft and pliant, in silk and cashmere blends, while the colors revolve around a strong palette of slate and off-blacks, accented with brights such as yellow and sky blue.’
    • ‘Her soft pliant body molded perfectly against him.’
    • ‘There the pillow would have awaited a weary child, come to nestle his head against its pliant form after a morning swimming at the beach.’
    • ‘He took his arms away from her soft, pliant, warm waist, and shivered at the sudden cold, before falling backwards and stumbling off the bed.’
    • ‘I heard it, felt it, saw it, sensed it - yet I couldn't tell if I were dreaming or if the pliant soft flesh against my lips was real.’
    • ‘Now is the time to try for puppies, while her bones remain pliant for easy delivery and we have more free time now that Grandma no longer needs our presence.’
  • 2Easily influenced or directed; yielding:

    ‘a more pliant prime minister’
    • ‘He thought about Susan's soft and pliant nakedness that one Sunday.’
    • ‘It is because it is a major petroleum producer and they want to get their hands on its resources and install a pliant puppet regime there.’
    • ‘At the very least, such policies might produce a larger body of literate, more pliant workers.’
    • ‘Sure, maybe I've got a hard shell, but inside I'm soft and pliant like the rest?’
    • ‘Youth naturally, in their abundance of hormones coupled with a paucity of experience, have a more pliant interest in entertaining various forms of sexual expression.’
    • ‘They found a pliant county attorney to bring the charge, which alleged a violation of campaign finance laws based - really - on a ‘thank you’ letter that Ron wrote.’
    • ‘I remain soft, weak, and pliant, slowly moving between them.’
    • ‘Ironically, domestic workers also opposed the move because they feared that companies would be inclined to employ the cheaper, more pliant and hard-working foreign nationals rather than Koreans.’
    • ‘Kids further down the show business food chain are more pliant.’
    • ‘A pliant corporate media proclaimed Harris' testimony proof of his political fortitude.’
    • ‘For more than 40 years, comparing an administration's enemies to Hitler has been a reliable way to convince a pliant media and unquestioning public to go to war.’
    • ‘In this way, we are training our mind to be more pliant and supple.’
    • ‘The regime reduced the two officially tolerated political parties to pliant ineffectuality.’
    • ‘Men like this are remarkably pliant when their children are involved.’
    • ‘We need leaders who are pliant enough to bend from their unflinching stand on issues, who are ready to sacrifice the short-term goals of their own survival for the greater good of humanity.’
    • ‘Doesn't this travesty cast into doubt the whole case for combining an empowered president with a pliant court?’
    • ‘They put out a simplistic script of ‘good vs evil ‘that was taken up by a pliant and intimidated media.’’
    • ‘In other words, while in office these officers are pliant enough, and suddenly, when appointed to ‘independent’ constitutional posts, they begin to assert themselves.’
    • ‘It is reported that a substantial number of enterprises are considering moving their production lines to China and other developing countries because of cheaper labor costs and pliant workers there.’
    • ‘Trinity was pliant and soft against him, her body molding to his.’
    compliant, biddable, docile, tractable, yielding, malleable, manageable, governable, controllable, amenable, accommodating, susceptible, suggestible, easily influenced, influenceable, persuadable, manipulable, like putty in one's hands, responsive, receptive
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Middle English: from French, literally bending, present participle of plier.