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

Keep scrolling for more

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 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 Making bosses come up with cuddly corporate-purpose statements is likely to produce a swarm of platitudes. The Economist, "Encouraging “purposeful” business," 28 Nov. 2019 But at the conclusion of two memoirs, Williams remains stuck at the level of TV-friendly platitudes. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "A Simplistic View of a Mixed-ish America," 26 Oct. 2019 The mother on Bluff City Law was a repository of boring platitudes and didn't much care that her hubby was a noxious philanderer. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic's Notebook: Dead Women, Immigration Stories and Other Fall TV Trends," 16 Oct. 2019 After a few more platitudes, the lady of the hour strides to the podium. Donna M. Owens, Washington Post, "For the first time in 20 years, former senator Carol Moseley Braun is back on the campaign trail, stumping for Joe Biden," 21 Feb. 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.

See More

First Known Use of platitude

1762, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for platitude

French, from plat flat, dull

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about platitude

Time Traveler for platitude

Time Traveler

The first known use of platitude was in 1762

See more words from the same year

Statistics for platitude

Last Updated

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Platitude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for platitude


How to pronounce platitude (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of platitude

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on platitude

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for platitude

Spanish Central: Translation of platitude

Nglish: Translation of platitude for Spanish Speakers

Comments on platitude

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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