Word of the Day

Thursday, August 24, 2000


\MAL-ee-uh-buhl\ , adjective;
Capable of being extended or shaped by beating with a hammer, or by the pressure of rollers; -- applied to metals.
Capable of being altered or controlled by outside forces; easily influenced.
Capable of adjusting to changing circumstances; adaptable.
His image for his own imagination is the acid, the catalyst, that is mixed in to make the gold malleable, and is then wiped away.
-- "Nothing is too wonderful to be true", Times (London), June 7, 2000
The natives proved less malleable and far less innocent than the Europeans imagined, so much so that early colonial history is filled with countless stories of monks who met hideous deaths at the hands of their flocks.
-- Juan Gonzalez, Harvest of Empire
I think his request was just a vainglorious way of expressing the basic belief of behaviorism: that children are malleable and that it is their environment, not innate qualities such as talent or temperament, that determines their destiny.
-- Judith Rich Harris, The Nurture Assumption
Malleable comes from Medieval Latin malleabilis, from malleare, "to hammer," from Latin malleus, "hammer."
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