[uh-plom, uh-pluhm]


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

Synonyms for aplomb

Antonyms for aplomb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for aplomb

Contemporary Examples of aplomb

Historical Examples of aplomb

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for aplomb



equanimity, self-confidence, or self-possession

Word Origin for aplomb

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

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