late 14c., "capable of being shaped by hammering," from Middle French malleable and directly from Medieval Latin malleabilis, from malleare "to beat with a hammer," from Latin malleus "hammer" (see mallet). Figurative sense, of persons, "capable of being adapted" first recorded 1610s.
malleable mal·le·a·ble (māl'ē-ə-bəl)
Capable of being shaped or formed, as by hammering or pressure.
Easily controlled or influenced; tractable.
Capable of great deformation without breaking, when subject to compressive stress. Gold is the most malleable metal. Compare ductile.