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’
    • ‘Thinking that a few motivational platitudes and clichés will save them, the rest of the band plod on, uninspired and surrounded by yes men.’
    • ‘Here, in one neat package, we have all the liberal platitudes.’
    • ‘Mondale just kept serving up affable liberal platitudes.’
    • ‘That failure could be his Achilles' heel, for whenever he addresses environmental activist groups he offers platitudes, but little promise of action.’
    • ‘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platitude that liberals think ‘people are basically good,’ which we all learned in our college government courses, is out of date.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One critic once said that George Eliot was the only English writer who was into sermonising and moral platitudes.’
    • ‘Its unpleasantness must not be buried in moral and philosophical platitudes.’
    • ‘McDonnell's yet-to-be-delivered statement opens with self-serving platitudes and praise for the committee.’
    • ‘The other two are gratuities, and while one could argue both gratuities and platitudes are pleasantries, that doesn't make one the other.’
    • ‘This year more than ever, the hack politician's laziest platitude is true: ‘This election is about the future.’’
    • ‘They should stop playing to the public gallery by mouthing platitudes and begin thinking seriously about the very nature of crime and punishment.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘It's pretty much downhill from there, with everyone speaking in moral platitudes and Hanks looking troubled.’
    • ‘His answer to all these questions is the pious platitude, ‘one standard of citizenship’.’
    • ‘Cliched platitudes about derby matches may be easy enough to pick up, but there are still occasional communication difficulties between player and manager.’
    • ‘It is not enough for Blair simply to utter platitudes.’
    • ‘Gone are (some of) the moral platitudes, and in their place are actual critiques and questions.’
    • ‘They seek to dissolve all concrete issues of history, politics and economics into the ethereal mists of moral 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.