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platitude

[plat-i-tood, -tyood]
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noun
  1. a flat, dull, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh or profound.
  2. the quality or state of being flat, dull, or trite: the platitude of most political oratory.
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Origin of platitude

1805–15; < French: literally, flatness, equivalent to plat flat (see plate1) + -itude, as in French latitude, altitude, magnitude, etc.
Can be confusedplatitude plaudit

Synonyms

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1. cliché, truism.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for platitude

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • To a Frenchman, everything is a platitude that is not a paradox.

  • A platitude that nobody has expressed and that nobody has acted on is a great truth.

  • It is tolerated to-day for no other reason than that it has cornered the platitude market.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht

  • When I awoke from my reverie the Reverend Mr. Platitude was quitting the apartment.

    Lavengro

    George Borrow

  • Mr. Platitude was filled with wrath, and abused Dissenters in most unmeasured terms.

    Lavengro

    George Borrow


British Dictionary definitions for platitude

platitude

noun
  1. a trite, dull, or obvious remark or statement; a commonplace
  2. staleness or insipidity of thought or language; triteness
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Derived Formsplatitudinous, adjective

Word Origin

C19: from French, literally: flatness, from plat flat
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

Word Origin and History for platitude

n.

1812, "dullness," from French platitude "flatness, vapidness" (late 17c.), from Old French plat "flat" (see plateau (n.)); formed on analogy of latitude, etc. Meaning "a flat, dull, or commonplace remark" is recorded from 1815. Related: Platitudinous. Hence platitudinarian (n.), 1855; platitudinize (1867).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper