The adjective pliant describes something that is capable of being bent. "The teenager showed off her pliant spine every time she draped herself over a piece of furniture. Why hanging upside down off the sofa didn't give her a headache, her mother would never know."

Pliant has both a literal and a figurative meaning. Pliant can describe something that is bendable — like a spine, a tree branch, a bendy straw — or it can describe something that is flexible, but less tangible. In this latter sense, pliant describes something that adjusts to conditions or is easily influenced: "In order to survive the recession, the company had to be pliant and adjust to the new economic conditions."

Definitions of pliant
  1. adjective
    capable of being shaped or bent or drawn out
    pliant molten glass”
    synonyms: ductile, malleable, pliable, tensile, tractile
    having or given a form or shape
  2. adjective
    capable of being bent or flexed or twisted without breaking
    “a pliant young tree”
    synonyms: bendable, pliable, waxy
    flexible, flexile
    able to flex; able to bend easily
  3. adjective
    able to adjust readily to different conditions
    synonyms: elastic, flexible, pliable
    capable of adapting (of becoming or being made suitable) to a particular situation or use
  4. adjective
    capable of being influenced or formed
    “a pliant nature”
    synonyms: plastic
    impressible, impressionable, waxy
    easily impressed or influenced
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