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aplomb (n)

Updated: Jul 27, 2019

aplomb (n):

Self-confidence or assurance, especially when in a demanding situation.

"Diana passed the test with aplomb"


synonyms: poise, self-assurance, assurance, self-possession, self-confidence, calmness, composure, collectedness, presence of mind, informal: cool, unflappability "he handled the crisis with surprising aplomb" antonyms: gaucheness


Did You Know?


In the 19th century, English speakers borrowed aplomb, meaning "composure," from French. "Aplomb" can also mean "perpendicularity" in French and comes from the phrase a plomb, meaning "perpendicularly or literally "according to the plummet." A plummet is a lead weight that is attached to a line and used to determine vertical alignment. Not surprisingly, "aplomb" and English words like "plumber" and the verb "plumb" ("to measure depth" and "to explore critically and minutely") ultimately trace back to the Latin word for lead, "plumbum."


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