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 plausibly

Contemporary Examples of plausibly

Historical Examples of plausibly

  • "I'm talking to you as I would to my niece, you know," he added, plausibly.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

  • The imitative or "illusionist" picture pleads its case most plausibly.

    The Enjoyment of Art

    Carleton Noyes

  • "Toil has brought you up from the ruck of things," Reason would have plausibly said.

    This Simian World

    Clarence Day

  • It was plausibly written, and gave a plausible excuse for his absence.

  • No one has plausibly explained how they came by their office.


    Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh

British Dictionary definitions for plausibly



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 plausibly



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