August 01, 2016
aplomb (noun)
\uh-PLAHM\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: complete freedom from nervousness or uncertainty
How do you use it?
Jack was not nervous during the championship basketball game and he played with aplomb and ease.
Are you a word wiz?

"Aplomb" originally came from a European language. Which language do you think gave us "aplomb"?

There's no uncertainty: "aplomb" comes from French. In that language it means "the nature of being straight" or "perpendicularity." The French "aplomb" comes from a much older French phrase that meant "according to the plummet." A "plummet" is a tool made of a lead weight attached to a string that builders use to measure or mark straight vertical lines. People who act with confidence stand straight and tall, and their upright composure inspired others to compare their attitude with straight and true lines measured with a plummet.
Archive RSS Feed