platitude

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See also: Platitüde

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French platitude, from plat (flat), from Vulgar Latin *plattus, from Ancient Greek πλᾰτῠ́ς (platús).

Pronunciation[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

Noun[edit]

platitude (countable and uncountable, plural platitudes)

  1. (countable) An often-quoted saying that is supposed to be meaningful but has become unoriginal or hackneyed through overuse; a cliché.
    • 1918, Algernon Blackwood, chapter XI, in 'The Garden of Survival':
      Beauty, I suppose, opens the heart, extends the consciousness. It is a platitude, of course.
    • 1922, Michael Arlen, “2/1/2”, in “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days[1]:
      Semiramis was the first woman to invent eunuchs and women have had sympathy for them ever since; [] and women can tell them what they can't tell other men. And Ivor, suddenly cheered by laughing at his absurd platitudes, and finding himself by the door, was going from the room.
    • 2019 August 30, Jonathan Watts, “Amazon fires show world heading for point of no return, says UN”, in The Guardian[2]:
      For most of the past three decades, the natural world was treated almost as an afterthought by world leaders. If discussed at all, it was with platitudes about the need to save polar bears and tigers.
  2. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) (countable) A claim that is trivially true, to the point of being uninteresting.
    • 1963, James R. Kreuzer; Lee Cogan, Modern Writings on Major English Authors, Ardent Media, page 109:
      The synthesis which he helped to effect was so successful that this aspect of his work escaped notice in the last century: all that Britomart stands for was platitude to our fathers. It is platitude no longer.
    • 1993, Harold B. Segel, The Vienna Coffeehouse Wits, 1890-1938, Purdue University Press, →ISBN, page 210:
      After explaining myself sufficiently, I now offer my own platitude: I believe that the institution of the cabaret has the right to exist only so long as it bears the character of dilettantism and improvisation.
    • 2012 September 16, Mathias Risse, On Global Justice, Princeton University Press, →ISBN, page 149:
      Indeed, in the ownership scenario the idealization is supported in a much thinner manner: we start with a platitude that characterizes individuals as coowners (that they are de facto seen as either property holders themselves or otherwise as []
  3. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) (uncountable) Flatness.
  4. (uncountable) Unoriginality; triteness.

Quotations[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  • platitude at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • platitude in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911.

Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French platitude.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

platitude f (plural platitudes, diminutive platitudetje n)

  1. platitude, cliché

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

plat (flat) +‎ -itude

Noun[edit]

platitude f (uncountable)

  1. flatness
    • 1921, Henri-René Lenormand, Le Simoun[3]:
      La chebka. Une immense platitude de pierres. Une sorte de néant jaunâtre, sous un ciel sulfureux.
      The Sebkha. A vast expanse of rocks. A sort of yellowish nothingness under a sulfurous sky.
  2. (figurative) blandness; lack of originality

Further reading[edit]


Portuguese[edit]

Noun[edit]

platitude f (plural platitudes)

  1. platitude (an overused saying)
  2. platitude; triteness; unoriginality

Synonyms[edit]