\ ə-ˈpläm How to pronounce aplomb (audio) , -ˈpləm How to pronounce aplomb (audio) \

Definition of aplomb

: complete and confident composure or self-assurance : poise She played several roles with equal aplomb.

Choose the Right Synonym for aplomb

confidence, assurance, self-possession, aplomb mean a state of mind or a manner marked by easy coolness and freedom from uncertainty, diffidence, or embarrassment. confidence stresses faith in oneself and one's powers without any suggestion of conceit or arrogance. the confidence that comes from long experience assurance carries a stronger implication of certainty and may suggest arrogance or lack of objectivity in assessing one's own powers. handled the cross-examination with complete assurance self-possession implies an ease or coolness under stress that reflects perfect self-control and command of one's powers. answered the insolent question with complete self-possession aplomb implies a manifest self-possession in trying or challenging situations. handled the reporters with great aplomb

Did you know?

In the 19th century, English speakers borrowed aplomb, meaning "composure," from French. "Aplomb" can also mean "perpendicularity" in French and comes from the phrase a plomb, meaning "perpendicularly or literally "according to the plummet." A plummet is a lead weight that is attached to a line and used to determine vertical alignment. Not surprisingly, "aplomb" and English words like "plumber" and the verb "plumb" ("to measure depth" and "to explore critically and minutely") ultimately trace back to the Latin word for lead, "plumbum."

Examples of aplomb in a Sentence

In "The Most Famous Man in America," Applegate, a Ph.D. in American studies from Yale, tells this grand story with aplomb, intelligence and a sure feel for historical context. — Michael Kazin, New York Times Book Review, 16 July 2006 Stefan Soltesz conducts the excellent chorus and orchestra with aplomb, and television director Brian Large does his usual exemplary job. — Alan Wagner, Opera News, November 2001 During a script conference recounted in the New Yorker piece, Ley fielded a variety of questions with striking aplomb that sometimes verged on arrogance. — Frank Kuznik, Air & Space, April/May 1995 He showed great aplomb in dealing with the reporters. you've handled a difficult situation with perfect aplomb
Recent Examples on the Web Gebbia played with poise and aplomb last year in the game formerly known as the Civil War. oregonlive, 1 Nov. 2020 The wide blade is more than capable of chopping firewood and felling trees with aplomb. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 18 Apr. 2022 The carbon market, and its regulators, have weathered it all with aplomb. Rochelle Toplensky, WSJ, 14 Apr. 2022 But his lengthy downhill putt from near the back fringe settled five feet from the hole, setting up a putt that Woods sank with aplomb. New York Times, 8 Apr. 2022 Hawkins filled that role with aplomb, bringing his own hard-hitting, time-juggling style to the band’s straight-ahead rock sound without trying to emulate Grohl. Jem Aswad, Variety, 25 Mar. 2022 All in one look, those elements could make for a disaster, but Tinashe pulls it off with more than aplomb; this gown is downright stunning. ELLE, 4 Apr. 2022 With insight and aplomb, Roberts completes his mission, revealing the king to have been a conventional, conservative gentleman, uxorious husband and father of 15. Washington Post, 17 Dec. 2021 The clinic’s staff is running the brick-and-mortar version of a MASH unit with passion, humor, skill, and aplomb. Katie Watson, The New Yorker, 16 Dec. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aplomb.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of aplomb

1818, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aplomb

French, literally, perpendicularity, from Middle French, from a plomb, literally, according to the plummet

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aplomado falcon



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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Aplomb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aplomb. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for aplomb


\ ə-ˈpläm How to pronounce aplomb (audio) \

Kids Definition of aplomb

: confidence and skill shown especially in a difficult situation He handled the questions with great aplomb.

More from Merriam-Webster on aplomb

Nglish: Translation of aplomb for Spanish Speakers


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