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See more synonyms for plausible on Thesaurus.com
  1. having an appearance of truth or reason; seemingly worthy of approval or acceptance; credible; believable: a plausible excuse; a plausible plot.
  2. well-spoken and apparently, but often deceptively, worthy of confidence or trust: a plausible commentator.
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Origin of plausible

1535–45; < Latin plausibilis deserving applause, equivalent to plaus(us) (past participle of plaudere to applaud) + -ibilis -ible
Related formsplau·si·bil·i·ty, plau·si·ble·ness, nounplau·si·bly, adverbnon·plau·si·bil·i·ty, nounnon·plau·si·ble, adjectivenon·plau·si·ble·ness, nounnon·plau·si·bly, adverbo·ver·plau·si·ble, adjectiveo·ver·plau·si·ble·ness, nouno·ver·plau·si·bly, adverbsu·per·plau·si·ble, adjectivesu·per·plau·si·ble·ness, nounsu·per·plau·si·bly, adverbun·plau·si·ble, adjectiveun·plau·si·ble·ness, nounun·plau·si·bly, adverb


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1. Plausible, specious describe that which has the appearance of truth but might be deceptive. The person or thing that is plausible strikes the superficial judgment favorably; it may or may not be true: a plausible argument (one that cannot be verified or believed in entirely). Specious definitely implies deceit or falsehood; the surface appearances are quite different from what is beneath: a specious pretense of honesty; a specious argument (one deliberately deceptive, probably for selfish or evil purposes).


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

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Examples from the Web for plausible

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I recur to it here as a plausible suggestion only, in connection with my theme.

    'Tis Sixty Years Since

    Charles Francis Adams

  • The plausible and polite manner of the stranger was effectual with George.

    Life in London

    Edwin Hodder

  • But always she had been met with a plausible excuse or a direct refusal.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • He flung out a hand with the plausible design of grasping Kirkwood by the collar.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • This explanation is plausible; but I do not find it adequate.

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

British Dictionary definitions for plausible


  1. apparently reasonable, valid, truthful, etca plausible excuse
  2. apparently trustworthy or believablea plausible speaker
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Derived Formsplausibility or plausibleness, nounplausibly, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from Latin plausibilis worthy of applause, from plaudere to applaud
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 plausible


1540s, "acceptable, agreeable," from Latin plausibilis "deserving applause, acceptable," from plaus-, past participle stem of plaudere "to applaud" (see plaudit). Meaning "having the appearance of truth" is recorded from 1560s. Related: Plausibly.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper