adj. sup·pler, sup·plest
1. Readily bent, folded, or manipulated; pliant: a wallet made of supple leather. See Synonyms at flexible.
2. Moving and bending with agility; limber: a supple gymnast.
3. Adaptable to changing circumstances: "The supple ambiguities of English are a large part of its genius" (Mark Abley).
tr. & intr.v. sup·pled, sup·pling, sup·ples
To make or become supple.
[Middle English souple, from Old French, from Latin supplex, suppliant; see plāk-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
supply, supple·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.