What does plausible deniability mean?

Definitions for plausible deniability

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word plausible deniability.


  1. plausible deniability(Noun)

    The organization of a clandestine military operation in such a way that knowledge of its existence may be denied by those in authority


  1. Plausible deniability

    Plausible deniability is a term coined by the CIA during the Kennedy administration to describe the withholding of information from senior officials in order to protect them from repercussions in the event that illegal or unpopular activities by the CIA became public knowledge. The term most often refers to the denial of blame in chains of command, where senior figures assign responsibility to the lower ranks, and records of instructions given do not exist or are inaccessible, meaning independent confirmation of responsibility for the action is nearly impossible. In the case that illegal or otherwise disreputable and unpopular activities become public, high-ranking officials may deny any awareness of such act or any connection to the agents used to carry out such acts. The lack of evidence to the contrary ostensibly makes the denial plausible, that is, credible. The term typically implies forethought, such as intentionally setting up the conditions to plausibly avoid responsibility for one's actions or knowledge. In politics and espionage, deniability refers to the ability of a "powerful player" or intelligence agency to avoid "blowback" by secretly arranging for an action to be taken on their behalf by a third party ostensibly unconnected with the major player. In political campaigns, plausible deniability enables candidates to stay "clean" and denounce third-party advertisements that use unethical approaches or potentially libellous innuendo.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of plausible deniability in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of plausible deniability in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Michael Rubin:

    Plausible deniability has always been central to post-revolutionary Iran's strategic calculation.

  2. Abbas Milani:

    He is giving himself a lot of plausible deniability, he's hinting to the more radical elements not to attack the deal too aggressively but he's also not telling them not to attack it. He's keeping his options open.

  3. Abbas Milani:

    He is giving himself a lot of plausible deniability, he’s hinting to the more radical elements not to attack the deal too aggressively but he’s also not telling them not to attack it. He’s keeping his options open.

  4. Matt Cartwright:

    Plausible deniability only works when it's plausible and I'm not buying that you didn't know about any of this until October 2015, you were not in a medically induced coma for a year and I've had about enough of your false contrition and your phony apologies.

  5. Vincent Wang:

    If this very sensationalist warning accomplishes its goal of scaring off the U.S. government, then it achieved its purpose, if it creates American pushback, then China has plausible deniability and can say that Li was speaking for himself, not the government.

Images & Illustrations of plausible deniability

  1. plausible deniabilityplausible deniabilityplausible deniability

Translations for plausible deniability

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"plausible deniability." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 20 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/plausible deniability>.

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