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[uh-plom, uh-pluhm] /əˈplɒm, əˈplʌm/
imperturbable self-possession, poise, or assurance.
the perpendicular, or vertical, position.
Origin of aplomb
1820-30; < French à plomb according to the plummet, i.e., straight up and down, vertical position
1. composure, equanimity, imperturbability.
1. confusion, discomposure; doubt, uncertainty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for aplomb
  • They withstood the perspiration and the rough packing with aplomb.
  • But she may be the first to do it with such respect and aplomb.
  • He took the news with undeterred aplomb.
  • Try to handle these situations with courtesy and aplomb.
  • Yet I remember that my teachers handled us with aplomb, and there were never major disruptions.
  • The two authors respond with their usual feisty aplomb.
  • He played his part with aplomb.
  • Since then, I've learned to handle many situations with much more aplomb, but at that time it was a heart-stopper.
  • If you must cancel, do so with aplomb and humility.
  • Despite early jitters, the actors pulled off their parts with aplomb.
British Dictionary definitions for aplomb


equanimity, self-confidence, or self-possession
Word Origin
C18: from French: rectitude, uprightness, from à plomb according to the plumb line, vertically
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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Contemporary definitions for aplomb


Word Origin

Middle French a plomb 'according to the plummet''s 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for aplomb

"assurance, confidence," 1828, from French aplomb (16c.), literally "perpendicularity," from phrase à plomb "poised upright, balanced," literally "on the plumb line," from Latin plumbum "(the metal) lead" (see plumb (n.)), of which the weight at the end of the line was made.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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