1. Capable of being shaped or formed, as by hammering or pressure: a malleable metal.
2. Easily controlled or influenced: "The British [rulers] ... had favoured the brother who struck them as altogether more amiable, a more malleable, more temperate man" (Paul Scott).
a. Able to adjust to changing circumstances; adaptable: a malleable leader unafraid to compromise.
b. Capable of being changed or adjusted to meet particular or varied needs: the malleable rhythms of jazz.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin malleābilis, from malleāre, to hammer, from Latin malleus, hammer; see melə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
mal′le·a·bili·ty, malle·a·ble·ness n.
Synonyms: malleable, ductile, plastic, pliable, pliant
These adjectives mean capable of being shaped, bent, or drawn out: malleable metals such as gold and silver; ductile copper; a plastic substance such as wax; soaked the leather to make it pliable; pliant molten glass.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus