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 verisimilitudinous (audio) , -​ˈtyüd-​ ; -​ˈtü-​də-​nəs , -​ˈtyü-​ \ adjective

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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 However, the verisimilitude of the vegetarian versions of those Whoppers and meatballs and chicken nuggets and sausages can lead to mix ups. Melissa Locker, Time, "Vegan Is Not Happy She Got the Real Sausage Roll Instead of the Plant-Based Version," 2 Oct. 2019 Money rarely changed hands, but the relationship was symbiotic: Game companies got the verisimilitude of featuring trademarked guns; gun manufacturers got easy, free exposure, on their terms. Sidney Fussell, The Atlantic, "Why It’s So Hard to Stop Marketing Guns in Video Games," 19 Aug. 2019 Eggers’s skill has always been his ability to achieve a particular sort of verisimilitude—even as the plot got spooky in The Witch, the terror its characters felt remained mundane, rooted in the careful design of their 17th-century world. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Lighthouse Takes You to the Hellish Ends of the Earth," 18 Oct. 2019 Lerner is a careful student of how people behave, and brilliant at conjuring the verisimilitude of actual thought. Rumaan Alam, The New Republic, "The MAGA Plot," 20 Sep. 2019 Sleeveless doesn’t attempt this kind of verisimilitude, rarely foregrounding electronic devices or the sparse phraseology of online dialogue. Zoë Hu, The New Republic, "Natasha Stagg Has No Illusions," 28 Oct. 2019 Tech-industry entrepreneurs say such ridiculous things in real life that achieving comedic verisimilitude on shows like Silicon Valley is a cinch. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Why Scooter Company Bird Is Worth $2.5 Billion—Data Sheet," 4 Oct. 2019 The verisimilitude of these undersea creatures led George Lincoln Goodale, founder of Harvard’s Botanical Museum, to commission the artists to craft similarly realistic glass plants. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Glass Models of Decaying Fruit Set to Go on View After Two Decades in Storage," 29 Aug. 2019 In retrospect, less television has come to imply lesser — by volume, by value, by verisimilitude. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "‘Friends’ Is Turning 25. Here’s Why We Can’t Stop Watching it.," 5 Sep. 2019

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

13 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Verisimilitude.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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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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