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[plat-i-tood, -tyood] /ˈplæt ɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/
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 confused
platitude, plaudit.
1. cliché, truism. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for platitude
  • Mostly, these questionnaires are platitude- and cliché-ridden.
  • Soon, at least in some cases, that old courtroom platitude may itself come to resemble the truth more closely.
  • Unfortunately, however, the platitude represents truth.
  • Each person bids her farewell with a platitude.
  • These were platitudes dressed up as epiphanies to suit the populist mood.
  • The college coach offered one last, up-to-the-minute platitude.
  • It's a platitude that opera singers can't act.
  • Satisfying customers is not just another platitude.
  • Why must you throw in that trite platitude about the rich paying "their fair share".
British Dictionary definitions for platitude


a trite, dull, or obvious remark or statement; a commonplace
staleness or insipidity of thought or language; triteness
Derived Forms
platitudinous, adjective
Word Origin
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
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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
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