Word of Week (WOW) – Aplomb

wow (1)

Word of the Week (WOW) is a weekly challenge created by Heena Rathore P. It’s a fun way to improve vocabulary by learning new words every week.

To participate, simply do a post with your word and leave the link as a comment on Heena’s WOW post for this week (above link).

I’ve now been through the alphabet once, so I’m starting again with the letter A.

So, here is my WOW for this week: 





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


2. The perpendicular or vertical position:


Plum-bob suspended on a string. Author: Jim Thomas. Commons



uh-plom  [uh-pluhm]

Audio: aplomb (Quite a difference between the UK aand US pronunciations with this one.)

Part of Speech: 


Related Forms:


Word Origin:

1828, from the French aplomb (16th century) literally“perpendicularity”,  from the phrase à plomb “poised upright, balanced” –  literally “on the plumb-line,” from the Latin plumbum “(the metal) lead” of which the weight at the end of the line was made (as image above).


equanamity, calmness, collectedness, composedness, composure, cool, coolness, countenance, equilibrium, imperturbability, placidity, repose, sangfroid, self-composedness, serenity, tranquility, tranquilness


agitation, discomposure, perturbation, confusion,  doubt, uncertainty.

Use in a Sentence:

  1. Susan passed her driving test with her usual aplomb:


2. The famous artist showed aplomb when surrounded by so many reporters:


(Artist Florentijn Hofman surrounded by reporters. Shutterstock photo.)

3. The word aplomb comes from the use of a ‘plumb-line’ (with a metal weight, or ‘plumb-bob’, suspended at the end of it) to determine the verticality or depth of a building undergoing construction:

A plum-square from 'Cassell's Carpentry and Joinery'. Public Domain.

A plum-square from ‘Cassell’s Carpentry and Joinery’. Public Domain.

If you’d like to view more interesting wods, visit Heena’s

Word Treasure

About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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33 Responses to Word of Week (WOW) – Aplomb

  1. exiledprospero says:

    A plum fell from a fruit laden branch only to be snatched with aplomb by a passing squirrel.

    • milliethom says:

      That’s such a great sentence, Prospero. The image of the self-assured squirrel is excellent. We have a squirrel who visits our garden regularly every autumn. We have a walnut tree – and your sentence fits so perfectly his actions as he scurries back and forth collecting the fallen nuts.:)

      • exiledprospero says:

        Actually my only interest in writing the sentence was to toy with the homophonous ‘a plum’/aplomb pair. But I’m glad you like it anyway!

      • milliethom says:

        I know how you love to play with words, Prospero, and I love your sentences. You’re right about the interesting homophonous pair, but I couldn’t help focusing on that squirrel! It quite took me back to watching our little visitor last year. He’ll be making an appearance again soon enough.Your witty sentences are so appreciated.

    • irinadim says:

      A fun way to remember the correct pronunciation.

  2. Wow Millie your word is interesting!

  3. domrey0800 says:

    Wow 😲 didn’t know that now a day still use the word. Impressive vocabulary.😄

    • milliethom says:

      The word aplomb is still in use, though perhaps not in the ‘chatty’ kind of everyday speech. I try to pick out interesting words for this challenge, and I liked the word origins of this one. There are lots of English words that are not used too often – but you sometimes come across them in newspapers and novels. Thank you so much for reading, dombala. (Sorry if that isn’t your name.) 🙂

  4. Another beautiful word to learn! It sounds very interesting 🙂 Thanks teacher Millie for teaching me a new word! ❤

  5. Bekki Hill says:

    YAY! You’re going round again. Always think od aplomb as very British stiff upper lip kind of word, so interesting to hear it’s from the French.

  6. Another great word! Thank you Millie!

  7. Nice word and great pictures to go along with…

  8. irinadim says:

    Great! You’re starting again. Interesting word and its origin. Thanks, Millie. 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      Yes, I like doing the WOWs.:) It was quite a challenge at the end of the alphabet. Most of the words I liked for X,Y and Z were ones I couldn’t illustrate well. And I enjoy finding suitable pictures to help explain the meanings.I’m glad you like it, Irina! Thank you for that. 🙂

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