from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A trite or banal remark or statement, especially one expressed as if it were original or significant. synonym: cliché.
  • noun Lack of originality; triteness.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Flatness; dullness; insipidity of thought; triteness.
  • noun A trite, dull, or stupid remark; especially, such a remark uttered as if it were a novelty; a truism.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The quality or state of being flat, thin, or insipid; flat commonness; triteness; staleness of ideas of language.
  • noun A thought or remark which is flat, dull, trite, or weak; a truism; a commonplace.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An often-quoted saying that is supposed to be meaningful but has become unoriginal or hackneyed through overuse; a cliché.
  • noun Unoriginality; triteness.
  • noun A claim that is trivially true, to the point of being uninteresting.

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

  • noun a trite or obvious remark


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

[French, from plat, flat, from Old French; see plate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French, from Old French platflat’.


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  • Thinking man's therapy, about philosophical counselors and their bringing eternal wisdom to bear on mental health problems, I was reminded that many years ago Patricia Pliner, a professor friend of mine, and I invented what we called platitude therapy.

    The Washington Post: National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines - The Washington Post 2011

  • And that ridiculous platitude is literally everything you need to know about Sarah Palin.

    Palin: 'My heart goes out to Huckabee' 2009

  • Besides, as your able Ambassador in Washington, Hume Wrong, said the other day, a platitude is but a "frozen truth" which must be repeated from time to time.

    Power and Responsibility 1952

  • The platitude is this, in the modern world peace and prosperity are indivisible.

    Western Nations in Postwar Asia 1945

  • Morley once warned the Emersonians that a platitude is not transformed into a profundity by being dressed up as a conundrum.

    Essentials of the Coming Peace 1942

  • During the last century the thesis that language is essentially conventional has played a central role within philosophy of language, and has even been called a platitude (Lewis 1969).

    The Normativity of Meaning and Content Glüer, Kathrin 2009

  • And, strictly speaking, a platitude is a “banal, trite, or stale remark”

    Watching the Iraq Hearings With Petraeus and Crocker - The Lede Blog - 2008

  • Compared with this creative statesmanship, the administering of a routine or the battle for a platitude is a very simple affair.

    A Preface to Politics Walter Lippmann 1931

  • The platitude was the best that I could muster to my tongue.

    Desert Dust J. Clinton Shepherd 1911

  • What I mean by a platitude is a truth so obvious that it is devoid of inspiration, and has become one of the things that every one does so instinctively, that no reminder of them is necessary.

    At Large Arthur Christopher Benson 1893


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  • How come platitude is a word, but plongitude isn't?

    March 15, 2008

  • plongitude should be the quantifier for how sonorous a ruler is when held atop a table and made to vibrate!

    March 15, 2008

  • Great question, sionnach! Great comment, sarra!

    March 15, 2008

  • PLATITUDE, n. The fundamental element and special glory of popular literature. A thought that snores in words that smoke. All that is mortal of a departed truth. A jelly-fish withering on the shore of the sea of thought. A desiccated epigram.

    (Ambrose Bierce)

    September 11, 2008

  • "A web-footed, duck-billed mammal's approach to life." --Frazz cartoon

    April 10, 2010

  • a trite or obvious remark

    The professor argued that many statements regarded as wise in previous times, such as the Golden Rule, are now regarded as mere platitudes.

    October 12, 2016