Synonym Comparison: Pliant and pliable can be used interchangeably, in this sense. Pliant is a better choice to describe something like a tennis shoe’s rubber sole that bends, but then returns to its original shape. Pliable is a better choice for a material like putty.
I need to climb as high as possible, but the branch I’m aiming for is short and looks pliable. I put my foot on it, testing its strength. It bends, but holds.
Veronica Roth -- Insurgent
Your father, on the other hand, favored a mahogany wand. Eleven inches. Pliable. A little more power and excellent for transfiguration.
J.K. Rowling -- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Then he tried the sinew again and found it pliable.
Hal Borland -- When the Legends Die
The soil was damp and pliable.
David Almond -- Clay
They treat PVC with phthalates to make it more pliable.
Well, if they COULD not, it was not their fault: you cannot expect stone to be as pliable as clay.
Anne Bronte -- Agnes Grey
they soaked the leather to made it pliable
He appeared disposed to add more, but indignation choked his utterance, so he lifted up one of his very pliable legs, and, flourishing it above his head a little, to insure his aim, administered a good sound kick...
Charles Dickens -- The Posthumous Papers Of The Pickwick Club