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platitude

[plat-i-tood, -tyood] /ˈplæt ɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/
noun
1.
a flat, dull, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh or profound.
2.
the quality or state of being flat, dull, or trite:
the platitude of most political oratory.
Origin of platitude
1805-1815
1805-15; < French: literally, flatness, equivalent to plat flat (see plate1) + -itude, as in French latitude, altitude, magnitude, etc.
Can be confused
platitude, plaudit.
Synonyms
1. cliché, truism.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for platitude
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In daily life many of these carefully recorded passages have an air of platitude, at which no wonder the Edinburgh Review laughed.

  • To a Frenchman, everything is a platitude that is not a paradox.

    The Bramleighs Of Bishop's Folly Charles James Lever
  • Henry Greech hastily abandoned simile and fell back on platitude and the safer kinds of fact.

  • A platitude that nobody has expressed and that nobody has acted on is a great truth.

    The Ghost in the White House Gerald Stanley Lee
  • Assuredly they are not—in utter stolidity of platitude and absolute impotence of drivel.

    The Age of Shakespeare Algernon Charles Swinburne
  • It is tolerated to-day for no other reason than that it has cornered the platitude market.

    Erik Dorn Ben Hecht
  • It is a platitude to say that authors are as much affected as other men by the atmosphere which they breathe.

    The Age of Pope John Dennis
British Dictionary definitions for platitude

platitude

/ˈplætɪˌtjuːd/
noun
1.
a trite, dull, or obvious remark or statement; a commonplace
2.
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
n.

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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12
15
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