The etymology of the term plausible takes us to latin plausibilis, a adjective which comes from the verb plaudere (which can be translated as "applaud"). Therefore, the first meaning of the concept that recognizes the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) refers to what deserves to receive a applause .
The most common use of the notion today, however, is associated with what is acceptable, valid or credible . For example: "The defendant offered a plausible explanation and the investigators decided to release him", "It is not plausible that someone who claims to earn a thousand pesos per month has a Ferrari and lives in a mansion", “I decided to accept his proposal because he gave me several plausible reasons about the convenience of developing the project”.
It can be said, in short, that something plausible is what it sounds like logical and, therefore, can be believed or accepted. The opposite of the plausible would be the amazing or what improbable .
Suppose a worker is late for his job and his boss asks for an explanation. The employee can ensure that he was traveling by train to work when an accident occurred, so he was delayed. This justification for the delay is plausible. However, if the worker indicates that, when he was about to enter the company He was kidnapped by aliens who, half an hour later, returned him to Earth, the argument is not plausible.
It is important to note that the qualification of a fact or of a theory as plausible, it does not indicate its veracity, but what is analyzed is probable but still remains in the field of the possible.
As is often the case with many pairs of similar-looking terms, many people confuse plausible and possible and uses them interchangeably. Having read the previous paragraphs, which include, among other explanations, the meanings of the RAE dictionary, it is clear that it is not about synonyms; however, since they are words that can appear in them contexts , it is difficult to eliminate the error.
This confusion is also fueled by another misconception: that plausible it is a "cultured" or "higher" version of the term possible, something that leads certain people to lean towards their use to appear a higher intellectual level. Far from noticing the humiliation they are undergoing by saying that "something is plausible" when they really want to mean "possible," they abuse this and others. mistakes Semantics with pride, to the four winds.
However, like all linguistic confusion, there are reasons behind it that, once analyzed, should enrich our knowledge of the language and avoid future mistakes. In more than one case, the use of these terms may occur in the same sentence to issue a opinion or qualification, as it happens when a hypothesis is studied.
A hypothesis can result plausible if you propose a convincing, admissible assumption, which at first sight is acceptable, even before performing the necessary tests to confirm its accuracy or veracity; on the other hand, it would not be correct to say that the hypothesis is possible, since, in any case, this adjective should be used to qualify its check through an experiment, for example.
In summary, a series of statements are plausible if they express acceptable, acceptable facts or concepts; the veracity of the latter, on the other hand, is what can be described as possible or impossible. Let's look at a final example to clearly graph the differences: in the case of excess cars in a city, the idea of manufacturing flying vehicles to free the streets is plausible, since it is recommendable; however, carrying it out immediately is not possible, since the costs would be too high and the necessary technology is not yet available.