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From Old French ploiant, present participle of ploiier (to fold).



pliant (comparative more pliant, superlative most pliant)

  1. Capable of plying or bending; readily yielding to force or pressure without breaking
    • 1917, The National Geographic Magazine April 1917, The Warblers of North America
      Whether in its northern or southern home, the black-throated blue warbler builds its nest of bark, roots, and other pliant material, loose and rather bulky, in a variety of saplings, bushes, and weeds, but always a few inches or a few feet from the ground.
    a pliant thread
    pliant wax
    Synonyms: flexible, pliable, lithe, limber, plastic
  2. (figuratively) Easily influenced; tractable.
    • 1594, Christopher Marlowe, Edward II, London: William Jones,[1]
      I must haue wanton Poets, pleasant wits,
      Musitians, that with touching of a string
      May draw the pliant king which way I please:
    • 1839, William Gilmore Simms, “The Brooklet” in Southern Passages and Pictures, New York: George Adlard, p. 2,[2]
      Yet there was pleasant sadness that became
      Meetly the gentle heart and pliant sense,
      In that same idlesse—gazing on that brook
    • 1988, A. J. Langguth, Patriots,
      [The king] had a pliant prime minister and a general who was telling him what he wanted to hear.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]






  1. present participle of plier


pliant (feminine singular pliante, masculine plural pliants, feminine plural pliantes)

  1. pliant
    Sa mère a acheté un vélo pliant. - His mother bought a folding bicycle.

Further reading[edit]