\ 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.

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web

Amid her hair transformations, long before Insta-girls like Kendall Jenner would free the nipple on social media, the actress often forwent a bra under a sheer black crop top with natural aplomb. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "At 56, Demi Moore Has Never Looked Better," 11 Nov. 2018 Kudos to Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas for pulling this off with aplomb. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sophie Turner & Joe Jonas Make Red Carpet Debut as Newlyweds at Met Gala 2019," 7 May 2019 Although Crolla retreated and dodged Lomachenko’s attacks from the opening minute onward, Lomachenko picked apart Crolla’s defense with his peerless combination of athleticism and technique, working the body and head with equal aplomb. Greg Beacham, The Seattle Times, "Lomachenko stops Crolla in 4th, defends lightweight belts," 13 Apr. 2019 With covers of songs associated with the Carter Family, Wanda Jackson and Marty Robbins, Ness’ two solo albums drive the point home with even more aplomb. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "Social Distortion headlines the Middle of the Map Fest June 30 at Crossroads KC.," 13 June 2018 Co-chefs Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan manage the feat with aplomb at Houston's top modernist luxury venue. Houston Chronicle, "Alison Cook's Top 10 Houston restaurants," 10 May 2018 From the sparkling fingers of pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and otherworldly work of ondes martenot specialist Cynthia Millar at the front to the vast percussion section at the back, the forces under Welser-Most played with genuine zeal and aplomb. Zachary Lewis, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Orchestra, guests conclude 'Ecstasy' series with stunning 'Divine' program (review)," 30 Apr. 2018 His mother, Kathy Williams, remains aplomb, though her fight to free her son, continues to be an arduous one. Kathy Williams, Billboard, "Meek Mill's Mother's Plea to Lady Justice: 'You've Taken His Innocence and Abused His Pride'," 26 Mar. 2018 Cesc Fabregas found space in a congested midfield, the Arsenal midfielder found Andres Iniesta with a aplomb inside the area. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 4 Days to Go - When Oranje Ditched Total Football in 2010 to Near-Perfection," 10 June 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for aplomb

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for aplomb

The first known use of aplomb was in 1818

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More Definitions for aplomb



English Language Learners Definition of aplomb

: confidence and skill shown especially in a difficult situation


\ 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on aplomb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aplomb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aplomb

Spanish Central: Translation of aplomb

Nglish: Translation of aplomb for Spanish Speakers

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showing great care, attention, and effort

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