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
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
Freia (the bright-voiced Rachel Willis-Sorensen), Froh (the trumpeting Brian Jagde) and Donner (the booming Christian Van Horn) are all plausible.
For much of the last century this idea was accepted as a plausible trigger of déjà vu.
But even Woolley and other researchers skeptical of Trump's total say there is no definitive way to determine who is behind making Twitter bots, nor is there any plausible way to determine their motives.
The plan, which experts say is plausible with enough investment, reflects an ambition that has long distinguished the nation from many of its Middle Eastern neighbors.
There are a lot of plausible explanations for how Republicans have avoided that fate with regard to taxes.
And even though President Trump’s diplomatic efforts may not go anywhere today, his extended invitation to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has laid the foundation for plausible relations in the future.
Second, even as an idealized worst-case scenario, RCP 8.5 may not be plausible as currently constructed.
Without a plausible story, Bradley could be in serious trouble.
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: 1565
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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