Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Seemingly or apparently valid, likely, or acceptable; credible: a plausible excuse.
  • adj. Giving a deceptive impression of truth or reliability.
  • adj. Disingenuously smooth; fast-talking: "Ambitious, unscrupulous, energetic, ... and plausible,—a political gladiator, ready for a 'set-to' in any crowd” ( Frederick Douglass).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Seemingly or apparently valid, likely, or acceptable; credible: a plausible excuse.
  • adj. Obtaining approbation; specifically pleasing; apparently right; specious.
  • adj. Using specious arguments or discourse.
  • adj. Worthy of being applauded; praiseworthy; commendable; ready.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Worthy of being applauded; praiseworthy; commendable; ready.
  • adj. Obtaining approbation; specifically pleasing; apparently right; specious
  • adj. Using specious arguments or discourse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Deserving applause or approval; meritorious; praiseworthy; commendable.
  • Seemingly worthy of acceptance or approval; apparently right, meritorious, or worthy of confidence; having a specious or superficial appearance of truth or trustworthiness: as, a plausible excuse; a plausible theory or doctrine.
  • Fair-spoken and apparently worthy of confidence; using or presenting discourse or arguments that seem right and worthy of acceptance: as, a plausible person.
  • Applauding; applausive.
  • Synonyms Colorable, Specious, etc. See ostensible.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. apparently reasonable and valid, and truthful
  • adj. given to or characterized by presenting specious arguments

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin plausibilis, deserving applause, from plausus, past participle of plaudere, to applaud.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin plausibilis ("deserving of applause"), from the participle stem of plaudere ("to applaud").

Examples

  • Ever since Ronald Reagan's henchmen coined the phrase "plausible deniability," that's become our national motto.

    Ethan Casey: Terry Jones' America Is A Dangerous Place To Be

  • To the skeptic's ear, when the word "plausible" needs to be included, this is a warning sign that what is described may not, in fact, be so plausible.

    Steven Newton: Unleash the Kraken! Creationism, Kookiness, and Alleged Censorship

  • The Gang of Six relies on what it calls a "plausible baseline" of future tax rates, but that baseline does not assume a continuation of current tax policies.

    The Gang of Six Play

  • I think that if we have a situation where the Taliban comes into power in Afghanistan, it's going to be very difficult to deter them from somehow hosting Al Qaida elements, because they can very easily establish what you call plausible deniability.

    CNN Transcript Nov 12, 2009

  • But the problem with coming flat out against it is that the Iraq war was what I call a plausible war.

    Digital Dispatches

  • Just a short time ago, Capitol Hill Police spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider said that they were investigating what they called a plausible explanation.

    CNN Transcript May 26, 2006

  • If in the case of the CIA tapes, if congress does nothing because the evidence was destroyed and can not prove who did what just remember the term plausible deniability as it once again is being used to pull the wool over your eyes and make a fool of you, and if you do nothing to force them to prosecute everyone who had anything to do with the destruction of the tapes, and also prosecute the violations that occurred on the tapes, then you are a good man who does nothing but support evil.

    Plausible Deniability: America's #1 Law

  • Adenine is naturally synthesized in plausible prebiotic environments.

    Casey Luskin on Kitzmiller & Information

  • Why anyone would think this whole theory even remotely plausible is beyond me.

    1000 Architects and Engineers

  • I think what will make Jeb plausible is how divided the GOP has historically been.

    Matthew Yglesias » America’s Next Bush

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