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

  • adj. Appearing to be true or real; probable.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Appearing to be true or real; probable; likely.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having the appearance of truth; probable; likely.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having the appearance of truth; probable; likely.

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

  • adj. appearing to be true or real


From Latin vērīsimilis : vērī, genitive of vērum, truth (from neuter sing. of vērus, true) + similis, similar; see similar.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin vērisimilis, prop. vērī similis ("having the appearance of truth"), from vērī, genitive of vērus ("true") + similis ("like, similar"); see very and similar. (Wiktionary)


  • But the ridiculous must no longer come forward as the pure creation of his own fancy, but must be verisimilar, that is, seem to be real.

    Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature

  • There might be some handful of radical formalists who argue that fiction contains no verisimilar power, and a few radical realists who claim that fiction is not artifice, but does anyone take such critics and views seriously?

    Knocking Wood

  • And mostly he proceeds to write about the verisimilar power of fiction, which he ranks of supreme importance.

    Knocking Wood

  • Occasionally he draws attention to the formal properties underlying those verisimilar effects—and those sections are by far my favorite parts of his book.

    Knocking Wood

  • First comes the long, learned or at least verisimilar discourse on the virtue of one item versus another, followed by effusive congratulations on the discernment and taste evident in the customer's choice.

    The Charms and Trials of Italian Shopping

  • Modern writers of fiction seem to be more attracted to realistic biblical characters, involved in verisimilar situations.

    Biblical Women in World and Hebrew Literature.

  • In science fiction there can be no inexplicable marvels, no transcendence, no devils or demons -- and the patterns of occurrence must be verisimilar.

    Archive 2005-12-01

  • It's virtually impossible for me not to characterize what I do in realist terms, because what I am doing in describing the whole topology of historical evidences is nothing other than developing a more verisimilar account.

    Archive 2005-02-01

  • The more a play is verisimilar, the more it runs the risk of showing the audience a mere picture of their daily lives.


  • The youthful Jesus is portrayed working as an apprentice to his father the carpenter (plenty of verisimilar technical information on wood and tools), reading the scrolls of Ezekiel and Isaiah, which he will later freely quote, and experiencing for the first time on record a serious childhood illness (some of its effects seem to linger on in the later career).

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  • Nice word, but sounds very unnatural and awkward when I attempt to use it. I often just end up deferring to "probable" or "likely"...

    February 8, 2013