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[plaw-zuh-buh l] /ˈplɔ zə bəl/
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 forms
plausibility, plausibleness, noun
plausibly, adverb
nonplausibility, noun
nonplausible, adjective
nonplausibleness, noun
nonplausibly, adverb
overplausible, adjective
overplausibleness, noun
overplausibly, adverb
superplausible, adjective
superplausibleness, noun
superplausibly, adverb
unplausible, adjective
unplausibleness, noun
unplausibly, adverb
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).
1. honest, sincere. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for plausibly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He may plausibly be labelled an anarchist, yet no definition of anarchism will wholly take him in.

    Prophets of Dissent Otto Heller
  • It was plausibly written, and gave a plausible excuse for his absence.

    How It All Came Round L. T. Meade
  • In both cases it could be plausibly represented that the smaller and weaker Power was the actual aggressor.

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

    Milton Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh
  • He had coughed most plausibly, moreover, because of the cigarettes.

    Merton of the Movies Harry Leon Wilson
British Dictionary definitions for plausibly


apparently reasonable, valid, truthful, etc: a plausible excuse
apparently trustworthy or believable: a plausible speaker
Derived Forms
plausibility, plausibleness, noun
plausibly, adverb
Word Origin
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
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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
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