How do we refer to the act of resembling the truth, regardless if it is indeed the truth?
Some context: suppose you are watching a film and the story bears a striking resemblance to "real life". Perhaps you remember similar events from your own background or the story has a strong internal coherence. So you feel that the story could be true, even though you know it is fictional. Or, as the legend has it, when Michelangelo finished his "Pietà" and the sculpture seemed so "real" and "natural" to him, that he was amazed that the sculpture couldn't talk. One last example: you hear the promises of a politician in election campaign and he seems to be telling the truth, but of course you have no way to figure out, beforehand, if he is being honest or not.
The word "likelihood" comes to mind, but this word suggests some kind of numerical (even statistical) evaluation, which is akin to "probability". The word I am looking for describes the feeling you get, which leads to a subjective "binary" judgement (either it resembles the truth or not).
In Portuguese, such word is "verossimilhança" (from Latin
verum, truth +