In futurists' parlance a 'plausible' future scenario -- as opposed to a merely 'possible' or 'probable' one -- is a scenario that is not intuitive but can reasonably be anticipated from current conditions and trends. While it is not exactly an extrapolation of current trends and conditions, it is no more than a couple of surprises, or what futurists call 'wildcards', away from being so.

Plausible scenarios are more risky than probable ones in that they are less likely to occur, but they are potentially more valuable to have anticipated if they do come true. A plausible scenario is, using gambling terms, a long shot.

Plau"si*ble (?), a. [L. plausibilis praiseworthy, from plaudere, plausum, to applaud, clap the hands, strike, beat.]

1.

Worthy of being applauded; praiseworthy; commendable; ready.

[Obs.]

Bp. Hacket.

2.

Obtaining approbation; specifically pleasing; apparently right; specious; as, a plausible pretext; plausible manners; a plausible delusion.

"Plausible and popular arguments."

Clarendon.

3.

Using specious arguments or discourse; as, a plausible speaker.

<-- 4 appearing worthy of belief [MW10]. Now the most common sense, and a good sense, rather than the traditional bad sense. -->

Syn. -- Plausible, Specious. Plausible denotes that which seems reasonable, yet leaves distrust in the judgment. Specious describes that which presents a fair appearance to the view and yet covers something false. Specious refers more definitely to the act or purpose of false representation; plausible has more reference to the effect on the beholder or hearer. An argument may by specious when it is not plausible because its sophistry is so easily discovered.

 

© Webster 1913.

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