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supple

[suhp-uh l] /ˈsʌp əl/
adjective, suppler, supplest.
1.
bending readily without breaking or becoming deformed; pliant; flexible:
a supple bough.
2.
characterized by ease in bending; limber; lithe:
supple movements.
3.
characterized by ease, responsiveness, and adaptability in mental action.
4.
compliant or yielding.
5.
obsequious; servile.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), suppled, suppling.
6.
to make or become supple.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; (adj.) Middle English souple flexible, compliant < Old French: soft, yielding, lithe < Latin supplic- (stem of supplex) submissive, suppliant, equivalent to sup- sup- + -plic-, variously explained as akin to plicāre to fold1, bend (thus meaning “bent over”; cf. complex), or to plācāre to placate (thus meaning “in the attitude of a suppliant”); (v.) Middle English supplen to soften, derivative of the noun (compare Old French asoplir)
Related forms
suppleness, noun
unsupple, adjective
unsuppleness, noun
unsupply, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for supple
  • His supple intellect, burgeoning political ambitions, and organizing prowess have garnered far less attention.
  • My ankles also felt stronger from maintaining my balance on the supple jumping surface.
  • The tough outer shell is soft and supple for unrestricted movement and a natural feel.
  • Ever supple, the drugs business has sought new premises.
  • But a supple and flexible civilian-military chain of command is an immensely useful tool.
  • To build a driving simulator of this complexity, the engine gets tossed out and replaced by a supple, sophisticated computer.
  • Because of their size, they will not be able to supple their country with normal sources for long.
  • But the unconscious mind gives us other, more supple ways.
  • The flutes answer with a supple ascending line, requesting that the horns be more specific.
  • It makes you feel round and supple, and to have a little life inside you is amazing.
British Dictionary definitions for supple

supple

/ˈsʌpəl/
adjective
1.
bending easily without damage
2.
capable of or showing easy or graceful movement; lithe
3.
mentally flexible; responding readily
4.
disposed to agree, sometimes to the point of servility
verb
5.
(rare) to make or become supple
Derived Forms
suppleness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French souple, from Latin supplex bowed
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 supple
adj.

c.1300, from Old French souple "pliant, flexible," from Gallo-Romance *supples, from Latin supplex (genitive supplicis) "submissive, humbly begging," literally "bending, kneeling down," thought to be an altered form of *supplacos "humbly pleading, appeasing," from sub "under" + placare "appease" (see placate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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