Top Definition
A precise-sounding figure which at first sight appears impressively close to total unanimity but on closer inspection is obviously meaningless because of selection bias. Extensively used by a snake oil salesman or confidence trickster to suggest that the prospective ill-informed customer would be ridiculed by their peers if they failed to make the purchase. Also used ironically to suggest precision when in fact both the speaker and the listener know that the figure is a stab in the dark, such as sales estimates.
"97% of priests believe in God".

"I am confident that with our new widget we shall acquire 97% of the teenager market."

"97% of statistics are completely made up."
#42 #umpteen #x #consensus #overwhelming #peer-reviewed #authority #institution #argumentum ad populum
by suffolkboy June 05, 2013
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