plat·​i·​tude | \ ˈpla-tə-ˌtüd How to pronounce platitude (audio) , -ˌtyüd \

Definition of platitude

1 : the quality or state of being dull or insipid
2 : a banal, trite, or stale remark

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Examples of platitude in a Sentence

His speech was filled with familiar platitudes about the value of hard work and dedication. “blondes have more fun” is a silly platitude
Recent Examples on the Web Some may call the song's sentiment a schmaltzy platitude at best and a cotton candy veil over the inherent darkness of politics at worst. Katie Bain, Billboard, "There Must Be Higher Love: The Significance of Biden’s Victory Speech Closing With a Kygo Track," 9 Nov. 2020 This ideal is not some musty platitude whose time has passed. Lawrence B. Solum, Star Tribune, "Judge Barrett is an originalist. That needn't make you afraid.," 19 Oct. 2020 The story above, told in endless iterations, has become something of a platitude in political rhetoric. David Harsanyi, National Review, "An American Tragedy," 3 Sep. 2020 But many people saw this as an empty platitude as the company simultaneously took no action against a post that critics say incites violence against the protesters in the wake of George Floyd's death. Washington Post, "Welcome to The Technology 202, our guide to the intersection of technology and politics.," 2 June 2020 These equal and opposite platitudes share more than a formulation and a woeful inadequacy. Wells King, National Review, "Recovering the American Tradition of Economic Policy," 5 May 2020 Northam has spoken in platitudes about the sacrifices in Virginia, but the reality for thousands of small businesses and their employees is stress and desperation. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "'Blanket policies do not work': Virginia GOP demands Democratic governor reopen economy," 16 Apr. 2020 Empty promises, self-serving platitudes, and magical thinking will no longer suffice. Leo Hindery, Quartz, "Stimulus packages aren’t enough to recover from the Covid-19 economy," 14 Apr. 2020 Perhaps in the 1920s, Democrats were confused that the market rose under Harding — a genial mouther of platitudes and not much else. Roger Lowenstein, Washington Post, "The next U.S. president will have little effect on the stock market. Here’s why.," 15 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'platitude.' 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 platitude

1762, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for platitude

French, from plat flat, dull

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Time Traveler for platitude

Time Traveler

The first known use of platitude was in 1762

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Cite this Entry

“Platitude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce platitude (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of platitude

disapproving : a statement that expresses an idea that is not new

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