having an appearance of truth or reason; seemingly worthy of approval or acceptance; credible; believable: a plausible excuse; a plausible plot.
well-spoken and apparently, but often deceptively, worthy of confidence or trust: a plausible commentator.

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

Synonyms for plausible

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).

Antonyms for plausible Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for plausible

Contemporary Examples of plausible

Historical Examples of plausible

  • 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



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

Word Origin for plausible

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper