veri·si·mil·i·tude | \ ˌver-ə-sə-ˈmi-lə-ˌtüd , -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, -ˈtyüd-; -ˈtü-də-nəs, -ˈtyü- \ adjective

Synonyms for verisimilitude


literalism, naturalism, realism

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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

So how does Hey Ladies manage to pull off its hilarious, sometimes mortifying verisimilitude? Ashley Fetters, The Cut, "The Strict, Subtle Rules of a Hey Ladies! Email," 1 May 2018 So certain aspects of verisimilitude are dispensed with, without making a big deal over it. Glenn Kenny, New York Times, "Review: Joan of Arc Is a Young Headbanger in ‘Jeannette’," 12 Apr. 2018 But humorous superhero stories have a different kind of verisimilitude. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "The best superhero stories admit that superheroes are ridiculous," 11 July 2018 From the specific color palettes and details of the crowns, cloaks, uniforms, and designs worn by the characters to the isiXhosa (one of South Africa's 11 official languages) the Wakandans spoke, gave the movie a healthy dose of verisimilitude. Nicole Blades, Good Housekeeping, "7 Reasons Why All Parents Should Take Their Kids to See "Black Panther"," 7 Mar. 2018 Sonically, the songs thrived on dichotomies of loud/soft and pretty/grating; the effect was less to gild aggression with sweetness than to wring drama and verisimilitude from the feeling of internal conflict. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "What Linkin Park Gave to Pop Music," 25 June 2018 So Sharolyn blends brown and yellow and black and white and red, and her final coats lighten and shade the Big Idaho Potato to burbank russet verisimilitude. Bill Manny, idahostatesman, "New Big Idaho Potato has AC, a mashed-potato interior and cushy digs for Spuddy Buddy," 20 June 2018 With the leap in mock-universe verisimilitude, researchers are now using their simulations as laboratories. Natalie Wolchover, WIRED, "The Universe Is Not a Simulation, but We Can Now Simulate It," 16 June 2018 These juxtapositions within the widescreen format resulted in dynamic pieces of graphic design and a verisimilitude the likes of which had not been seen in a musical before. Jared Cowan, Los Angeles Magazine, "Every L.A. Filming Location From Grease, 40 Years Later," 15 June 2018

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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Statistics for verisimilitude

Last Updated

6 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for verisimilitude

The first known use of verisimilitude was circa 1576

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English Language Learners Definition of verisimilitude

: the quality of seeming real

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