- The definition of supple is someone or something that bends and moves easily and gracefully.
The fluid and graceful movements of a dancer are an example of something that would be described as supple.
- easily bent or twisted; flexible; pliant
- able to bend and move easily and nimbly; lithe; limber: a supple body
- easily changed or influenced
- adaptable, as to changes: a supple mind
Origin of suppleMiddle English souple ; from Old French ; from Classical Latin supplex, humble, submissive, akin to supplicare: see supplicate
- Readily bent, folded, or manipulated; pliant: a wallet made of supple leather. See Synonyms at flexible.
- Moving and bending with agility; limber: a supple gymnast.
- Adaptable to changing circumstances: “The supple ambiguities of English are a large part of its genius” (Mark Abley).
tr. & intr.v.sup·pled, sup·pling, sup·ples
Origin of suppleMiddle English souple, from Old French, from Latin supplex, suppliant; see plāk-1 in Indo-European roots.
- sup′ply, sup′ple·ly
(comparative suppler, superlative supplest)
(third-person singular simple present supples, present participle suppling, simple past and past participle suppled)
- To make or become supple.
- To make compliant, submissive, or obedient.
From Middle English souple, from Old French souple, soupple (â€œsoft, lithe, yieldingâ€), from Latin supplic-, supplex (â€œsuppliant, submissive, kneelingâ€), of uncertain formation. Either from sub + plicÅ (â€œbendâ€) (compare complex), or from sub + plÄcÅ (â€œplacateâ€). More at sub-, placate.