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[uh-plom, uh-pluhm] /əˈplɒm, əˈplʌm/
imperturbable self-possession, poise, or assurance.
the perpendicular, or vertical, position.
Origin of aplomb
First recorded in 1820-30, aplomb is from the French word à plomb according to the plummet, i.e., straight up and down, vertical position
1. composure, equanimity, imperturbability.
1. confusion, discomposure; doubt, uncertainty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for aplomb
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She received his bits of news with the aplomb of a resourceful commander.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Miss Milbrey disunited the chatting couple with swiftness and aplomb.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • I could read as much in her narrowed eyes as she tried for aplomb with her guests.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • The aplomb—why should there be a French word for an English quality?

  • Before the end of the repast he had recovered all his assurance, all his aplomb.

    Samuel Brohl & Company Victor Cherbuliez
British Dictionary definitions for aplomb


equanimity, self-confidence, or self-possession
Word Origin
C18: from French: rectitude, uprightness, from à plomb according to the plumb line, vertically
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for aplomb


Word Origin

Middle French a plomb 'according to the plummet''s 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for aplomb

"assurance, confidence," 1828, from French aplomb (16c.), literally "perpendicularity," from phrase à plomb "poised upright, balanced," literally "on the plumb line," from Latin plumbum "(the metal) lead" (see plumb (n.)), of which the weight at the end of the line was made.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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