[plat-i-tood, -tyood]


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 confusedplatitude plaudit

Synonyms for platitude Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for platitude

Contemporary Examples of platitude

Historical Examples of platitude

  • 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

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


    George Borrow

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


    George Borrow

British Dictionary definitions for platitude



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

Word Origin for platitude

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

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