/ver'euh si mil"i toohd', -tyoohd'/, n.
1. the appearance or semblance of truth; likelihood; probability: The play lacked verisimilitude.
2. something, as an assertion, having merely the appearance of truth.
[1595-1605; < L verisimilitudo, equiv. to veri (gen. sing. of verum truth) + similitudo SIMILITUDE]

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      the semblance of reality in dramatic or nondramatic fiction. The concept implies that either the action represented must be acceptable or convincing according to the audience's own experience or knowledge or, as in the presentation of science fiction or tales of the supernatural, the audience must be enticed into willingly suspending disbelief and accepting improbable actions as true within the framework of the narrative.

      Aristotle in his Poetics insisted that literature should reflect nature—that even highly idealized characters should possess recognizable human qualities—and that what was probable took precedence over what was merely possible.

      Following Aristotle, the 16th-century Italian critic Lodovico Castelvetro (Castelvetro, Lodovico) pointed out that the nondramatic poet had only words with which to imitate words and things but the dramatic poet could use words to imitate words, things to imitate things, and people to imitate people. His influence on the French neoclassical dramatists of the 17th century is reflected in their preoccupation with vraisemblance and their contribution of many refinements in respect to appropriate diction and gesture to the theory.

      The concept of verisimilitude was incorporated most fully by Realist writers of the late 19th century, whose works are dominated by well developed characters who very closely imitate real people in their speech, mannerisms, dress, and material possessions.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Verisimilitude — in its literary context is defined as the fact or quality of being verisimilar, the appearance of being true or real; likeness or resemblance of the truth, reality or a fact’s probability. Verisimilitude comes from Latin verum meaning truth and… …   Wikipedia

  • Verisimilitude — Ver i*si*mil i*tude, n. [L. verisimilitudo: cf. OF. verisimilitude. See {Verisimilar}.] The quality or state of being verisimilar; the appearance of truth; probability; likelihood. [1913 Webster] Verisimilitude and opinion are an easy purchase;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • verisimilitude — c.1600, from Fr. verisimilitude (1540s), from L. verisimilitudo likeness to truth, from veri, genitive of verum, neut. of verus true (see VERY (Cf. very)) + similis like, similar (see SIMILAR (Cf. similar)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • verisimilitude — index credibility, probability Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • verisimilitude — *truth, veracity, verity Analogous words: agreement, accordance, harmonizing or harmony, correspondence (see corresponding verbs at AGREE): *likeness, similitude, resemblance …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • verisimilitude — [n] authenticity color, credibility, genuineness, likeliness, likeness, plausibility, realism, resemblance, semblance, show, similarity, virtual reality; concept 725 Ant. falseness, impossibility …   New thesaurus

  • verisimilitude — Verisimilitude, Verisimilitudo …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • verisimilitude — ► NOUN ▪ the appearance of being true or real. ORIGIN Latin verisimilitudo, from verisimilis probable …   English terms dictionary

  • verisimilitude — [ver΄ə si mil′ə to͞od΄, ver΄ə si mil′ətyo͞od΄] n. [L verisimilitudo < verisimilis: see VERISIMILAR] 1. the appearance of being true or real 2. something having the mere appearance of being true or real SYN. TRUTH …   English World dictionary

  • verisimilitude — The extent to which a hypothesis approaches the truth. The first approach to the notion, due to Popper, identifies this with the extent to which a theory captures the whole truth: a theory T will have more verisimilitude than a rival T just in… …   Philosophy dictionary

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