I am looking for a word that describes general phrases that makes one feel good but has no real meaning, such as, "I'm for tolerance." Well, maybe in some things you are but in others you aren't (murder). This is just a "______."

  • Where does the word 'murder' fit into this question? – chasly - supports Monica Jul 15 '15 at 19:30
  • Clichés that are over-simplified and that nobody disagrees with are labelled "mother, love and apple-pie." – Hugh Jul 15 '15 at 19:38
  • A political speech? – bib Jul 15 '15 at 19:46
  • @chasly I’m guessing it’s a comment to people who say platitudes like “I’m for tolerance!” as absolute truths. Most are probably not very much for tolerance when it comes to something like murder. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 15 '15 at 19:51
  • This is just an axiom--it's so obviously true that rationally oriented people feel like it doesn't need to be said, but emotionally oriented people prefer to reinforce the obvious truth with an explicit statement. Duplicate and driven by subjective opinions. – ScotM Jul 15 '15 at 20:24


A remark or statement, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful: ‘she began uttering liberal platitudes’

Oxford Dictionaries Online




  • Putting the name of the dictionary in text with a link to the site makes it easier for readers to recognize the source. – bib Jul 15 '15 at 19:49

Perhaps rhetoric is the word your looking for. Or maybe 'mere rhetoric'.

b. Language that is elaborate, pretentious, insincere, or intellectually vacuous: His offers of compromise were mere rhetoric.


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