Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[plat-i-tood, -tyood] /ˈplæt ɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/
a flat, dull, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh or profound.
the quality or state of being flat, dull, or trite:
the platitude of most political oratory.
Origin of platitude
1805-15; < French: literally, flatness, equivalent to plat flat (see plate1) + -itude, as in French latitude, altitude, magnitude, etc.
Can be confused
platitude, plaudit.
1. cliché, truism. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for platitude
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To a Frenchman, everything is a platitude that is not a paradox.

    The Bramleighs Of Bishop's Folly Charles James Lever
  • A platitude that nobody has expressed and that nobody has acted on is a great truth.

    The Ghost in the White House Gerald Stanley Lee
  • 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
  • I speak advisedly,” said he, in continuation, “there is one platitude.

    Lavengro George Borrow
  • I wanted to quote that Latin platitude about who watches the watchers.

    Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith
British Dictionary definitions for platitude


a trite, dull, or obvious remark or statement; a commonplace
staleness or insipidity of thought or language; triteness
Derived Forms
platitudinous, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for platitude

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for platitude

Word Value for platitude

Scrabble Words With Friends