September 25, 2018
plausible (adjective)
\PLAW-zuh-bul\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : seemingly fair, reasonable, or valuable but often not so2 : appearing worthy of belief
How do you use it?
"The man must be punished somehow or other, so I degraded him from his office and made him leader of the band -- the new one that was to be started. He begged hard, and said he couldn't play -- a plausible excuse, but too thin; there wasn't a musician in the country that could." (Mark Twain, _A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court_)
Are you a word wiz?

Before "plausible" developed the meanings we use today, people used it with a different meaning. What do you think was an early meaning of "plausible"?

If answer A seemed the most plausible, give yourself a round of applause. English speakers adopted the word "plausible" in the 1500s from Latin, and used it to mean "deserving applause" and "expressing approval." Those meanings are not used today, but they provide a link to the word's origin. We can trace "plausible" to the Latin word "plausibilis," meaning "worthy of applause." "Plausibilis" comes from "plausus," a form of the verb "plaudere," meaning "to applaud or clap."
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