aplomb

noun
\ 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 Cardona was pretty flawless again, and Bailey handled punting and kickoff duties with aplomb. Jim Mcbride, BostonGlobe.com, "Breaking down the Patriots’ roster, position by position," 10 Jan. 2020 The two actresses are relentlessly graceful, endowed with physical aplomb, contemplative insight, and strong emotion. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Speaking for Women’s Art in “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”," 10 Dec. 2019 First-time feature helmer Tyburski, supported by Sarsgaard’s skillful turn, handles this tonal shift with aplomb, adding welcome tension and heft to this largely low-key affair. Gary Goldstein, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘The Sound of Silence’ finds darkness in the aural world," 19 Sep. 2019 The principal actors — Jue, Ricamora and Louis — handle the heavy-duty roles with aplomb, and 11 supporting players add their vocal strengths admirably: The show sounds full-bodied on the Public’s Newman Theater stage. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "Ever wondered how China sees America? ‘Soft Power’ offers amusing ideas.," 16 Oct. 2019 First-time feature helmer Tyburski, supported by Sarsgaard’s skillful turn, handles this tonal shift with aplomb, adding welcome tension and heft to this largely low-key affair. Gary Goldstein, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘The Sound of Silence’ finds darkness in the aural world," 19 Sep. 2019 Kuan handled these challenges with aplomb, syncing with whichever soloist seemed to be leading the quartet at the time and guiding the orchestra to lock in perfectly. Jessica Rudman, courant.com, "Review: New dynamic percussion concerto ‘Drum Circles’ steals the show at HSO," 16 Nov. 2019 Mertens adapted to life as a central striker with aplomb, bagging 28 league goals in his first season up top and transforming into a completely different animal. SI.com, "Dries Mertens May Just Be the Most Underrated Player in World Football," 27 Oct. 2019 Starring the talented if relatively unknown Nina Meurisse, who both looks like Lepage and conveys her earnestness with emotional aplomb, the film premiered in Locarno and was released this month on French screens. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Camille': Film Review," 24 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for aplomb

Time Traveler

The first known use of aplomb was in 1818

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Statistics for aplomb

Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Aplomb.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aplomb. Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for aplomb

aplomb

noun
How to pronounce aplomb (audio) How to pronounce aplomb (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of aplomb

: confidence and skill shown especially in a difficult situation

aplomb

noun
\ 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for aplomb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aplomb

Spanish Central: Translation of aplomb

Nglish: Translation of aplomb for Spanish Speakers

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