I. adjective (suppler; supplest) Etymology: Middle English souple, from Anglo-French suple, from Latin supplic-, supplex entreating for mercy, supplicant, perhaps from sub- + -plic- (akin to plicare to fold) — more at ply Date: 14th century 1. a. compliant often to the point of obsequiousness b. readily adaptable or responsive to new situations 2. a. capable of being bent or folded without creases, cracks, or breaks ; pliant <
supple leather
b. able to perform bending or twisting movements with ease ; limber <
supple legs of a dancer
c. easy and fluent without stiffness or awkwardness <
sang with a lively, supple voice — Douglas Watt
Synonyms: see elasticsupplely or supply adverbsuppleness noun II. verb (suppled; suppling) Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. to make pacific or complaisant <
supple the tempers of your race — Laurence Sterne
2. to alleviate with a salve 3. to make flexible or pliant intransitive verb to become soft and pliant

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • supple — 1 flexible, resilient, *elastic, springy Analogous words: pliable, pliant, *plastic: *soft, gentle, mild Antonyms: stiff 2 Supple, limber, lithe, lithesome, lissome can all apply to bodily movements and mean showing freedom and ease in bending… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Supple — Sup ple, a. [OE. souple, F. souple, from L. supplex suppliant, perhaps originally, being the knees. Cf. {Supplicate}.] 1. Pliant; flexible; easily bent; as, supple joints; supple fingers. [1913 Webster] 2. Yielding compliant; not obstinate;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Supple — may refer to: *Flexibility, Supplenessas a surname: * John Supple, Canadian businessman * Shane Supple, Irish footballer * Tim Supple, English theatre director …   Wikipedia

  • supple — [sup′əl] adj. suppler, supplest [ME souple < OFr < L supplex, humble, submissive, akin to supplicare: see SUPPLICATE] 1. easily bent or twisted; flexible; pliant 2. able to bend and move easily and nimbly; lithe; limber [a supple body] 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • Supple — Sup ple, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Suppled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Suppling}.] 1. To make soft and pliant; to render flexible; as, to supple leather. [1913 Webster] The flesh therewith she suppled and did steep. Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. To make compliant …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Supple — Sup ple, v. i. To become soft and pliant. [1913 Webster] The stones . . . Suppled into softness as they fell. Dryden. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • supple — index flexible, malleable, obedient, passive, pliable, pliant, servile, yielding Burton s Legal Thesaurus …   Law dictionary

  • supple — c.1300, from O.Fr. souple pliant, flexible, from Gallo Romance *supples, from L. supplex (gen. supplicis) submissive, humbly begging, lit. bending, kneeling down, thought to be an altered form of *supplacos humbly pleading, appeasing, from sub… …   Etymology dictionary

  • supple — has the adverbial form supply (two syllables) rather than supplely (three syllables) …   Modern English usage

  • supple — [adj] bendable adaptable, agile, bending, ductile, elastic, flexible, graceful, limber, lissome, lithe, lithesome, malleable, moldable, plastic, pliable, pliant, resilient, rubber, springy, stretch, stretchy, svelte, willowy, wiry, yielding;… …   New thesaurus

  • supple — ► ADJECTIVE (suppler, supplest) ▪ flexible or pliant. DERIVATIVES suppleness noun. ORIGIN Latin supplex submissive …   English terms dictionary

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