supple

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English souple, from Old French souple, soupple (soft, lithe, yielding), from Latin supplic-, supplex (suppliant, submissive, kneeling), of uncertain formation. Either from sub + plicō (bend) (compare complex), or from sub + plācō (placate). More at sub-, placate.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

supple (comparative suppler, superlative supplest)

  1. pliant, flexible, easy to bend
  2. lithe and agile when moving and bending
    supple joints; supple fingers
  3. compliant; yielding to the will of others
    a supple horse
    • John Locke
      If punishment [] makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

supple (third-person singular simple present supples, present participle suppling, simple past and past participle suppled)

  1. To make or become supple.
    • Dryden
      The stones [] suppled into softness as they fell.
    • Spenser
      The flesh therewith she suppled and did steep.
  2. To make compliant, submissive, or obedient.
    • John Locke
      a mother persisting till she had bent her daughter's mind and suppled her will
    • Barrow
      They should supple our stiff willfulness.

Translations[edit]


Latin[edit]

Verb[edit]

supplē

  1. second-person singular present active imperative of suppleō