• synonyms


  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

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

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

Examples from the Web for unplausible

Historical Examples of unplausible

  • He does not specify this unprovable, complex, unplausible, and useless hypothesis.

    Flowers of Freethought

    George W. Foote

  • In this he is the very opposite of the austere Scot who sits midway of the table; he cannot tell a lie in an unplausible way.

    Following the Equator, Complete

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • But something happened—something unforeseen and unexpected and unplausible happened.

British Dictionary definitions for unplausible


  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 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 unplausible



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