Simple Definition of prosaic
: dull or ordinary
Examples of prosaic in a sentence
For the most part, the descriptions of the books listed in the “Catalog,” though informative, are relentlessly prosaic, even hackneyed. —Mordecai Richler, New York Times Book Review, 8 Oct. 1989
In addition to the prosaic essentials of life—wheat, rice, and salt—the Portuguese found exotic stores of pepper, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and other spices. —Daniel J. Boorstin, The Discoverers, 1983
There is, of course, an ordinary medicine, an everyday medicine, humdrum, prosaic, a medicine for stubbed toes, quinsies, bunions, and boils … —Oliver Sacks, Awakenings, 1973
… where did he get his money? He had to eat and drink, buy apparatus and chemicals, even pay the poor rate. Where did he get the common coin to meet such unavoidable if prosaic obligations? —Flann O'Brien, The Dalkey Archive, 1964
He has a prosaic writing style.
the prosaic life of a hardworking farmer
She believes the noises are made by ghosts, but I think there's a more prosaic explanation.
Did You Know?
In the 1600s, any text that was not poetic was prosaic. Back then, "prosaic" carried no negative connotations; it simply indicated that a written work was made up of prose. That sense clearly owes much to the meaning of the word's Latin ancestor prosa, which meant "prose." By the end of the 17th century, though, poetry had come to be viewed as the more beautiful, imaginative, and emotional type of writing, and prose was relegated to the status of mundane and plain-Jane. As a result, English speakers started using "prosaic" to refer to anything considered matter-of-fact or ordinary, and they gradually transformed it into a synonym for "colorless," "drab," "lifeless," and "lackluster."
Origin and Etymology of prosaic
Late Latin prosaicus, from Latin prosa prose
First Known Use: circa 1656
Rhymes with prosaic
alcaic, Altaic, archaic, Chaldaic, deltaic, Hebraic, Incaic, Judaic, Mishnaic, Mithraic, mosaic, Mosaic, Passaic, Romaic, spondaic, stanzaic, trochaic, voltaic
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up prosaic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).