\ 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.

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web But the Wheelan parents handled it all — including teenage temper-tantrums and difficulties getting Sophie to keep up with school assignments — with aplomb. Star Tribune, "Review: 'We Came, We Saw, We Left,' by Charles Wheelan," 22 Jan. 2021 Intelligence, grace, tonal beauty, technical aplomb and interpretive rigor were hallmarks of his playing. David Mermelstein, WSJ, "‘Wilhelm Kempff Edition’ Review: A Classical Colossus," 15 Dec. 2020 The character and the actor had the difficult task of being a grounding force on a show known for flights of foolishness (Gilligan), greed (Thurston Howell III) and vanity (Ginger), but Wells pulled it off with aplomb. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "R.I.P. Dawn Wells: Remembering my boat cruise with lovely Mary Ann from 'Gilligan's Island'," 31 Dec. 2020 As the mullet grew in popularity during the pandemic, Rihanna and Troye Sivan took on the notorious so-bad-it’s-good style with confident aplomb. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "The Biggest Celebrity Hair Transformations of 2020," 18 Dec. 2020 But the stars of the show are still Savage, playing both the set's protagonist and antagonist with equal aplomb, and Metro, directing the proceedings with Ridley Scott precision and Tony Scott explosiveness. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 20 Best Rap Albums of 2020: Staff Picks," 10 Dec. 2020 Taylor and Stone are former RUSH ends who have transitioned with aplomb to putting their hand in the ground, according to new DC Jake Dickert, while Rodgers was an undersized tackle under the former staff. oregonlive, "What is Oregon State facing in a retooled, Nick Rolovich-coached Washington State? Q and A with a Cougar beat writer," 4 Nov. 2020 Perhaps such lamentable figures were low-hanging fruit, but Randi plucked them with aplomb. Peter Tonguette, Washington Examiner, "James Randi, 1928-2020," 29 Oct. 2020 But Reinsdorf has enough friends in the media that approve of anything the Sox or Bulls do, so the Sox spin will be delivered with aplomb. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Tony La Russa hiring proves Jerry Reinsdorf is still the boss of the Chicago White Sox," 29 Oct. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about aplomb

Listen to Our Podcast about aplomb

Statistics for aplomb

Last Updated

7 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aplomb.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aplomb. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on aplomb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aplomb

Nglish: Translation of aplomb for Spanish Speakers

Comments on aplomb

What made you want to look up aplomb? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!