Definition of pliable in US English:



  • 1Easily bent; flexible.

    ‘quality leather is pliable and will not crack’
    • ‘It was easily pliable, but amazingly tough, withstanding hundreds of pounds of pressure and scorching heat that could have charred the flesh off of a human being.’
    • ‘Using tweezers, Geoff carefully removed the tiny, pliable plastic disc.’
    • ‘They are covered in glistening, black scales, like the hooded serpents that steal the eggs from our hens, but stretched and pliable, like the most well-worked leather riding hand-coverings.’
    • ‘An elastic, pliable lens is required to change your focus from your wingman to your kneeboard.’
    • ‘They make a huge range of PVC-based plastics more pliable and durable and improve the spreadability of antiperspirants, soaps and face creams.’
    • ‘Phthalates are used to make plastic soft and pliable and in the past were found in soothers, teething toys, babies' bottles and other baby goods.’
    • ‘Amorphous solids are thermally plastic, being hard, rigid, and brittle at low temperature, and soft, flexible, and pliable at high temperature.’
    • ‘Most of them are cast in a somewhat soft and pliable plastic and at first I was disappointed in this thinking that a more rigid plastic would have been preferable.’
    • ‘They use earplugs or soft, pliable pods attached to a flexible metal or plastic band, which can be used behind the head, under the chin, or over the head.’
    • ‘Branches should be pliable and not snap very easily.’
    • ‘Normal fats are very supple and pliable, but the trans fatty acid is a stiff fat that can build up in the body and create havoc.’
    • ‘Immediately after the molt, the crab's new ‘soft shell’ is pliable and easily stretched.’
    • ‘If the sponge has been dampened in warm water, you will have a more pliable and flexible sponge.’
    • ‘This physically elastic and histrionically pliable performer is as acrobatic on a stage as an aerialist under the big top.’
    • ‘In each work, the play of texture seems to transform the rigid stone into a more supple or pliable substance like plastic or clay.’
    • ‘The soft cuticle is pliable but tough and not easily pierced.’
    • ‘Considered the next-generation in flat panel displays, this technology involves the use of pliable plastic instead of rigid glass in TFT-LCD production.’
    • ‘Well, in clay animation, each object is sculpted in clay or a similarly pliable material such as plasticine, usually around an armature.’
    • ‘Their skin is very pliable and internal organs are easily punctured.’
    • ‘But when it is warm, the rubber is pliable and retains high elasticity, even when being stretched hard.’
    flexible, easily bent, bendable, pliant, elastic, supple, stretchable, malleable, workable, plastic, whippy, springy, limber, ductile, tensile
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  • 2Easily influenced.

    ‘pliable teenage minds’
    • ‘However, research increasingly suggests that humans are just pliable puppets, with definable biological and chemical responses to certain stimuli.’
    • ‘We'll just get our own grip on that pliable feminine mind!’
    • ‘In all likelihood, the team just wanted a more pliable head coach.’
    • ‘I'm staggered by Arndt's apparent argument that education should be about preparing young people to be pliable media fodder in sporting and entertainment fields.’
    • ‘They should know that all of us are pliable and suggestible to some degree, but that children are especially vulnerable to suggestive and leading questioning.’
    • ‘Although modern, urban spaces were pliable enough to reflect historical changes, their concrete nature suggested that gender differences could not be eroded easily.’
    • ‘There are hundreds more where you came from; they're campus-fresh, younger, pliable, cheaper and hungry for work at any cost.’
    • ‘In the 1930s, this led it into conflict with Franklin Roosevelt's economic programs, and provoked a Presidential threat to stack the Court with pliable appointees.’
    • ‘It took centuries to still the fear in some pliable animals - domestication it's called - but most cannot get over their fear, and I doubt they ever will.’
    • ‘Then, as governor of Texas, he was graced with a pliable enough bipartisan Legislature, and the Legislature is where the real work in that state's governance gets done.’
    • ‘I came to know that though the Director was an efficient and upright officer, she happened to incur the Minister's displeasure for the simple reason that she was not pliable.’
    • ‘By contemplating compassion and love, we become familiar with the pliable mind of peace.’
    • ‘Is the government, is the political process pliable enough?’
    • ‘When minds are young and pliable - government experts understand this principle - you can fill them with nonsense that is practically impossible to root out.’
    • ‘Born in 1922 and crowned in 1941 by French colonisers eager to install a pliable puppet, Sihanouk abdicated the throne in 1955 to contest the country's first elections.’
    • ‘In a similar way, those who wanted to embrace Jesus and the life he called them to needed to become pliable and flexible, willing to be taught a new way of thinking and acting.’
    • ‘He was seen as overly reliant on handlers and aides, and easily pliable.’
    • ‘So how can we cooperate with the Holy Spirit to receive this pliable heart?’
    • ‘Several barriers in his consciousness that normally stand sentinel around his impressions of women become pliable and my image begins to migrate towards that of his mother.’
    • ‘In this respect, the theory is pliable enough to accommodate varying Pagan paths.’
    malleable, easily influenced, impressionable, flexible, adaptable, pliant, compliant, docile, biddable, tractable, like putty in one's hands, yielding, manageable, governable, controllable, amenable, accommodating, susceptible, suggestible, influenceable, persuadable, manipulable, responsive, receptive
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Late Middle English: from French, from plier ‘to bend’ (see ply).