veri·​si·​mil·​i·​tude | \ ˌver-ə-sə-ˈmi-lə-ˌtüd How to pronounce verisimilitude (audio) , -ˌtyüd \

Definition of verisimilitude

1 : the quality or state of being verisimilar
2 : something verisimilar

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Other Words from verisimilitude

verisimilitudinous \ ˌver-​ə-​sə-​ˌmi-​lə-​ˈtüd-​nəs How to pronounce verisimilitude (audio) , -​ˈtyüd-​ ; -​ˈtü-​də-​nəs , -​ˈtyü-​ \ adjective

Did You Know?

From its roots, verisimilitude means basically "similarity to the truth". Most fiction writers and filmmakers aim at some kind of verisimilitude to give their stories an air of reality. They need not show something actually true, or even very common, but simply something believable. A mass of good details in a play, novel, painting, or film may add verisimilitude. A spy novel without some verisimilitude won't interest many readers, but a fantastical novel may not even attempt to seem true to life.

Examples of verisimilitude in a Sentence

the novel's degree of verisimilitude is compromised by 18th-century characters who speak in very 21st-century English
Recent Examples on the Web That verisimilitude extended to the jargon of spying in his novels, which had the ring of truth. Ben Zimmer, WSJ, "‘Mole’: Le Carré’s Fiction Burrows Its Way Into the Real World," 17 Dec. 2020 McQueen’s visual grammar often entails staging a violent sequence with blunt, brutal verisimilitude, then lingering on the aftermath in queasy silence. Washington Post, "In a year of Black Death, the movies showed us Black Life," 10 Dec. 2020 Certainly Prager and her pro team have been skillful in crafting verisimilitude for their clichéd cast of world-weary, sitcom-style office characters. Los Angeles Times, "Review: The hidden truth of LACMA’s Alex Prager show may drive you to drink," 1 Dec. 2020 For the viewer, Davisson adds, there’s no verisimilitude with these kinds of recreations. Janet Manley, Wired, "The Ethics of Rebooting the Dead," 26 Nov. 2020 Scenic designer Buddy Fales has constructed a perfectly believable down-market home for this family, full of small details that add to the verisimilitude. Matthew J. Palm,, "IceHouse ‘Miracle’ is a comic yet sensitive holiday gift | Review," 15 Nov. 2020 The production designers purchased technical gear from Los Alamos for verisimilitude, and Brickman even staged an actual science fair in New York, paying local high school students to participate with their own science projects. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Lest we forget: Mark 75 years of the atomic bomb with the Ars watch list," 10 Aug. 2020 For instance, new synthetic-audio software allows hackers to mimic a voice with convincing verisimilitude. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "The 2016 Election Was Just a Dry Run," 11 May 2020 Morgen intercuts archival footage with rotoscoped animation to create images that are simultaneously stylized and dazzling in their verisimilitude. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, "The 34 best political movies ever made," 23 Jan. 2020

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

circa 1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for verisimilitude

borrowed from Latin vērīsimilitūdō, from vērī similis, vērīsimilis "having the appearance of truth" + -tūdō, suffix of abstract nouns — more at verisimilar

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Time Traveler for verisimilitude

Time Traveler

The first known use of verisimilitude was circa 1576

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Statistics for verisimilitude

Last Updated

26 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Verisimilitude.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for verisimilitude


How to pronounce verisimilitude (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of verisimilitude

formal : the quality of seeming real

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