Word of the Day

Thursday, May 25, 2000


\PLAT-uh-tood; -tyood\ , noun;
Staleness of ideas or language; triteness.
A thought or remark that is banal, trite, or stale.
Yet a curious thing happens in this book: Whatever promise it offers of satire and enlightened vision dissipates into cliche and platitude.
-- Edward Rothstein, "Against Galactic Rhetoric", New York Times, April 3, 1983
The average sports memoir is a prodigy of simpering modesty and high-minded platitude: enough to rot the mind and sap the morals of the sturdiest child.
-- Wilfrid Sheed, "Take Me Back to the Ballgame", New York Times, September 18, 1966
She'll have to cut the platitudes and start saying something unusual and provocative, which she hasn't yet.
-- Jonathan Alter, "Why It's Time to Let Loose", Newsweek, December 6, 1999
Platitude derives from French plat, "flat." It is related to plate, a flat piece of metal or a flat dish in which food is served or from which it is eaten; and plateau, a broad, level, elevated area of land. The adjective form of platitude is platitudinous.
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