prosaic was our Word of the Day on 06/09/2013. Hear the podcast!
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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.
Recent Examples of prosaic from the Web
Yet their origin lies in a surprisingly prosaic exercise in problem-solving.
But FCA also brings more prosaic resources to the table.
That even huge movie stars are, on occasion, subject to the whims of time, to the disorder that governs most of our boring, prosaic lives.
Smart flush But the more promising might also be the more prosaic.
Usurpation abounds, at home and abroad, and seems never to be walled in by anything as prosaic as the law.
Given that 85% of Americans live a short drive from a Target, prosaic considerations such as using stores to fill orders are paramount.
Whatever ideas help blanket back roads with internet connections — however prosaic or amazing — somebody will have to pay.
The school that prides itself on teaching its students to problem solve and look at the world analytically has a quarterback who doesn’t compare football to something prosaic like life or a chess match.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prosaic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
prosaic Has Literary Origins
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
First Known Use: 1692See Words from the same year
Synonymsaverage, common, commonplace, cut-and-dried (also cut-and-dry), everyday, garden-variety, normal, ordinary, routine, run-of-the-mill, standard, standard-issue, unexceptional, unremarkable, usual, workaday
Antonymsabnormal, exceptional, extraordinary, odd, out-of-the-way, strange, unusual
Related Wordsregular, typical, unextraordinary; familiar, homely, plain, plain-Jane, popular, vulgar; natural; customary, wonted; insignificant, trivial, unimportant; frequent, habitual; expected, predictable
Near Antonymscurious, funny, peculiar, quaint, queer; aberrant, anomalous, atypical, irregular, untypical; rare, recherché, scarce; fantastic (also fantastical), phenomenal; bizarre, far-out, Kafkaesque, outrageous, outré, wacky (also whacky), way-out, weird, wild; eccentric, idiosyncratic, kooky (also kookie), nonconformist, oddball, offbeat, unconventional, unorthodox; freak, freakish; conspicuous, notable, novel, outstanding, prominent, salient, signal, striking, unexampled, unprecedented; singular, unique, unparalleled
PROSAIC Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of prosaic for English Language Learners
: dull or ordinary
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