\ 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

Johnson’s exhortation about Knives Out had a note of relief to it; no longer tangled up in franchise concerns, the filmmaker had created a classic mystery, the likes of which Hollywood used to produce with aplomb. David Sims, The Atlantic, "TIFF 2019: Nine Movies to Pay Attention to This Awards Season," 10 Sep. 2019 Despite some spectacularly inappropriate and public mishandlings of her youthful relationships with men, the 47-year-old veteran of palace intrigue has maneuvered some tricky royal waters with remark- ably admirable aplomb. Nancy Collins, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sarah Ferguson: Diana, the Queen and I," 12 Oct. 2018 His powerful voice delivers smooth, soulful pop music with aplomb. Chip Mccabe, courant.com, "Hartbeat Music Festival: Take a listen to the 24 bands that will play for 12 hours on Hartford’s Riverfront Plaza," 27 Aug. 2019 Yet at around the same time as Lohan, about a decade ago, Victoria Beckham—aka Posh Spice—was navigating the opening meanders of the same path with aplomb. Vogue, "The Women Designers Who Changed The Way We Dress," 14 Aug. 2019 The Outback is also surprisingly comfortable, absorbing all but the worst furrows, rocks and tree branches with aplomb. Larry Printz, Dallas News, "The 2020 Subaru Outback is a family hauling staple, even after six generations," 10 Aug. 2019 Fleming indeed animated the work with characteristic elegance and aplomb, no small feat in a Homeric tale that Previn/Stoppard unfolded via unusual means. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Ravinia review: Renee Fleming brings to life Andre Previn’s ‘Penelope’," 29 July 2019 The large ensemble and the orchestra directed by Sierra Dee handle the various styles with aplomb. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: Quirky, cheeky ‘Dreamcoat’ kicks up some fun at Tri-Valley Rep," 25 July 2019 The ever-versatile Jason Maddy plays comic hoods, heels and a hairstylist with equal aplomb, the best being cheating New York Giants pitcher Haystack Duggler. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘Dice’ at North Coast Rep is charming and nostalgic but score needs work," 15 July 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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Statistics for aplomb

Last Updated

17 Sep 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

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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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