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[duhk-tl, -til] /ˈdʌk tl, -tɪl/
capable of being hammered out thin, as certain metals; malleable.
capable of being drawn out into wire or threads, as gold.
able to undergo change of form without breaking.
capable of being molded or shaped; plastic.
Origin of ductile
1300-50; Middle English < Latin ductilis, equivalent to duct(us) (past participle of dūcere to draw along) + -ilis -ile
Related forms
ductilely, adverb
ductility, ductileness, noun
nonductile, adjective
nonductility, noun
semiductile, adjective
unductile, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ductile
  • It is eminently susceptible of dramatic expression, but is not very ductile.
  • Glass would be more durable based on it being harder, brittle and higher tensile than softer, ductile plastic.
  • Vanadium is a soft, ductile, silver-grey metal.
  • It is hard, and cracks are dissipated by the ductile titanium.
  • Time is indeed the theatre and seat of illusion: nothing is so ductile and elastic.
  • The metal is strong and has low density; it is ductile when pure and malleable when heated.
  • The metal is strong and has low density; it is ductile when pure and malleable .
  • In its natural state, vanadium is soft and ductile and it possesses excellent structural strength.
  • ductile iron pipe shall comply with the requirements listed in this specification section.
  • Fittings shall be polyethylene line, as specified for ductile iron pipe.
British Dictionary definitions for ductile


(of a metal, such as gold or copper) able to be drawn out into wire
able to be moulded; pliant; plastic
easily led or influenced; tractable
Derived Forms
ductilely, adverb
ductility (dʌkˈtɪlɪtɪ), ductileness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin ductilis, from dūcere to lead
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ductile

mid-14c., from Old French ductile or directly from Latin ductilis "that may be led or drawn," from past participle of ducere "to lead" (see duke (n.)). Related: Ductility.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ductile in Medicine

ductile duc·tile (dŭk'təl, -tīl')
Easily molded or shaped.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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ductile in Science
  1. Easily stretched without breaking or lowering in material strength. Gold is relatively ductile at room temperature, and most metals become more ductile with increasing temperature. Compare brittle, malleable.

  2. Relating to rock or other materials that are capable of withstanding a certain amount of force by changing form before fracturing or breaking.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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