Definition of plausible
1 : superficially fair, reasonable, or valuable but often specious a plausible pretext
2 : superficially pleasing or persuasive a swindler … , then a quack, then a smooth, plausible gentleman — R. W. Emerson
3 : appearing worthy of belief the argument was both powerful and plausible
plausiblyplay \-blē\ adverb
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Examples of plausible in a Sentence
I watch the ospreys who nest on Perch Island high atop their white spruce. Our sense of a plausible summer depends much on their diligent success at nest-building and procreation, and on their chicks fledging in late August. —Richard Ford, Wall Street Journal, 14-15 June 2008
… I'd mastered the quick size-up. Does the person seem agreeable over coffee at the drugstore counter and picking up his mail at the post office, drive a plausible vehicle, and know the weather forecast? —Edward Hoagland, Harper's, June 2007
Now, two NASA scientists, both also astronauts, suggest a simpler, safer, and much more plausible way of diverting an offending asteroid. Their method relies on the gravitational tug of a massive, unmanned spacecraft to pull the rock away from a damaging rendezvous with Earth. —R. Cowen, Science News, 12 Nov. 2005
… string theorists can exhibit plausible models of a unified Universe, but unfortunately they cannot explain why we inhabit a particular one. —Michael Atiyah, Nature, 22-29 Dec. 2005
it's a plausible explanation for the demise of that prehistoric species
Recent Examples of plausible from the Web
If a novelist needs to cut down a number of his characters in the prime of their lives, or deliver some other collective misfortune, a wedding is a plausible means of getting them all in the same room at the same time.
The war’s outcome is fixed, but one winces nevertheless every time John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, or the defense secretary who served them both, Robert S. McNamara, ignores or rejects a plausible exit strategy.
Valerian will have a tight if not altogether plausible plot, easily translatable dialog, and striking images and action.
Given this timeframe, the researchers calculated that a huge mtDNA shift, based on low-level interbreeding, was, in fact, plausible.
In many ways, it's always seemed like Messi would be a one-club player, the threat of him leaving not really all that plausible.
In other words, says Reiss, if scientific research is inconclusive, can an individual still plead their case with other types of plausible evidence, including circumstantial evidence?
Still, this scenario is plausible: Carmel’s Drew Kibler, 17, could be the youngest male swimmer since Phelps to be on the U.S. team for the World Championships.
Or at least, that's what Miriam believes — one workable (if not exactly plausible) explanation for why so many city employees are coming to check on her just as the real estate interest in her house heats up.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plausible.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
You Can Believe This History of plausible
Today the word plausible usually means "reasonable" or "believable," but it once held the meanings "worthy of being applauded" and "approving." It comes to us from the Latin adjective plausibilis ("worthy of applause"), which in turn derives from the verb plaudere, meaning "to applaud or clap." Other "plaudere" descendants in English include "applaud," "plaudit" (the earliest meaning of which was "a round of applause"), and "explode" (from Latin explodere, meaning "to drive off the stage by clapping).
Origin and Etymology of plausible
Latin plausibilis worthy of applause, from plausus, past participle of plaudere
First Known Use: 1565See Words from the same year
PLAUSIBLE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of plausible for English Language Learners
: possibly true : believable or realistic
PLAUSIBLE Defined for Kids
Definition of plausible for Students
: seeming to be reasonable a plausible excuse
Seen and Heard
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