Word of the Day - Aplomb

For my first WOTD I decided to focus on one of my favourite words: aplomb.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines aplomb as “complete and confident composure or self-assurance”, and the root of the word is from the French “á plomb” which means: “according to a plummet”.

Now, I ask you, what does “according to a plummet” mean, exactly?

The reason I so enjoy the word aplomb is its pleasing roundness, and how the application of this word to the description of something done with assurance, brings a new level of implied finesse to said action. Something done with aplomb is not only done with confidence, it is done with flair, with a certain attitude of arrogance, almost. It is almost, but not quite, smug.

So, does the relation to the action of plummeting, which in itself means an action of complete surrender, give aplomb the nuance of unselfconscious grace, of the ability to abandon oneself to an action that is not only known but imprinted on one’s psyche?

I would argue that aplomb means not an action done with composure, but without the need for composure.

An assured abandon, if you will.