“The rest of us looked on in terror as she calmly approached the bomb and summarily defused it with aplomb.”

According to what’s shown above, what is the best definition of aplomb?

Check your answer!

Choice A - Friendliness and affability
Choice B - Poise and composure
Choice C - Wisdom or foresight
Choice D - Deviousness or cunning


Aplomb (noun) – self-assuredness, poise, and composure, especially under challenging circumstances

GRE pro tips:

Did you notice that the word aplomb resembles the word bomb? Now, if you needed to defuse a bomb, you would definitely want to enlist someone who is cool under pressure, right? So, ideally, you’re looking for someone with aplomb. The noun aplomb refers to the manner of being calm, cool, and collected, and particularly in stressful situations – in other words, highly self-assured and poised, no matter what. So, perhaps you can remember aplomb by envisioning an individual who is super calm even as she is defusing a bomb.

Example sentences:

“Even during the ice storm, the first responders brought their A-game and executed their work with aplomb.”

“Because the lead singer performed with such aplomb, the audience was not perturbed when the band’s speakers were blown.”