Definition of platitude in English:



  • A remark or statement, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful.

    ‘she began uttering liberal platitudes’
    • ‘Here, in one neat package, we have all the liberal platitudes.’
    • ‘They seek to dissolve all concrete issues of history, politics and economics into the ethereal mists of moral platitudes.’
    • ‘They should stop playing to the public gallery by mouthing platitudes and begin thinking seriously about the very nature of crime and punishment.’
    • ‘Cliched platitudes about derby matches may be easy enough to pick up, but there are still occasional communication difficulties between player and manager.’
    • ‘Gone are (some of) the moral platitudes, and in their place are actual critiques and questions.’
    • ‘His answer to all these questions is the pious platitude, ‘one standard of citizenship’.’
    • ‘‘I'm proud of my guys,’ Valentine, the Mets' manager said, offering the platitudes of a loser.’
    • ‘But members of the Omagh victims' group are not content with such platitudes.’
    • ‘Its unpleasantness must not be buried in moral and philosophical platitudes.’
    • ‘No slippery politician was going to give me the kind of straight talk I was looking for, but only politicians and platitudes were on offer.’
    • ‘Thinking that a few motivational platitudes and clichés will save them, the rest of the band plod on, uninspired and surrounded by yes men.’
    • ‘That failure could be his Achilles' heel, for whenever he addresses environmental activist groups he offers platitudes, but little promise of action.’
    • ‘So says The Knife, who, as their name suggests, are not a conventional band content to offer vacuous platitudes served on a diet of mediocrity.’
    • ‘Mondale just kept serving up affable liberal platitudes.’
    • ‘One critic once said that George Eliot was the only English writer who was into sermonising and moral platitudes.’
    • ‘It's pretty much downhill from there, with everyone speaking in moral platitudes and Hanks looking troubled.’
    • ‘I agree with Deacon that the platitude that liberals think ‘people are basically good,’ which we all learned in our college government courses, is out of date.’
    • ‘McDonnell's yet-to-be-delivered statement opens with self-serving platitudes and praise for the committee.’
    • ‘This year more than ever, the hack politician's laziest platitude is true: ‘This election is about the future.’’
    • ‘The other two are gratuities, and while one could argue both gratuities and platitudes are pleasantries, that doesn't make one the other.’
    • ‘It is not enough for Blair simply to utter platitudes.’
    cliché, truism, commonplace, banal saying, hackneyed saying, overworked saying, trite saying, banality, old chestnut
    bromide, inanity, tag
    View synonyms


Early 19th century: from French, from plat flat.