di·​seuse | \ dē-ˈzüz How to pronounce diseuse (audio) , -ˈzœz How to pronounce diseuse (audio) \
plural diseuses\ dē-​ˈzüz How to pronounce diseuse (audio) , -​ˈzœz How to pronounce diseuse (audio) \

Definition of diseuse

: a woman who is a skilled and usually professional reciter

Did you know?

The American actress Ruth Draper (1884-1956) was known for her character-driven monologues and theatrical sketches, portraying some 58 different characters utilizing a range of languages and dialects. A comparable entertainer today might be labeled a performance artist, but a term that emerged during Draper's lifetime was "diseuse." Broadly, a diseuse is a professional female reciter, though often the word is used specifically to refer to one who recites verse or other text to music. (A male reciter would be a diseur, but that word is rare in English.) Both "diseuse" and "diseur" derive from Old French dire ("to say") and ultimately from the Latin verb dicere.

First Known Use of diseuse

1896, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for diseuse

French, feminine of diseur, from Old French, from dire to say, from Latin dicere — more at diction

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About diseuse

Time Traveler for diseuse

Time Traveler

The first known use of diseuse was in 1896

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About diseuse

Statistics for diseuse

Cite this Entry

“Diseuse.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diseuse. Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!