We must ruthlessly accommodate ourselves to a world that has shown, once again, that it is not putty in our hands.
Now he can just charge out there and do more of this, and in no time the nation will be putty in our hands!
David wants to win the family over, and everybody, except Anna, is putty in his hands.
1630s, "type of plasterer's cement," from French potée "polishing powder" (12c.), originally "pot-full, contents of a pot," from Old French pot "container" (see pot (n.1)). Meaning "soft mixture for sealing window panes" first recorded 1706. Figurative use in reference to one easily influenced is from 1924. Putty knife attested from 1834.
1734, from putty (n.). Related: Puttied; puttying.
A very malleable or biddable person or persons: they'll be putty and do exactly what you want (as they should) (1924+)