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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  • 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