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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 ductility
  • ductility is the property of certain materials to fail only after large stresses and strains have occurred.
  • ductility is the elongation of a sample at a set temperature and set strain rate.
  • Cobalt has relatively low strength and little ductility at normal temperatures and is a component of several alloys.
  • The retrofitted specimens developed plastic hinging in the column, with enhanced strength, energy and ductility capacities.
  • Lower activity process produces coatings with higher ductility.
  • Better ductility means better absorption of seismic energy.
  • The tensile tests exhibited little or no ductility in the as-sintered condition.
British Dictionary definitions for ductility


(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 ductility



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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ductility 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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ductility 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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