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
That’s in addition to the more prosaic details that could lure a company.
There are more prosaic problems for Google and its competitors than decoding the fundamentals of speech.
Deterrence is a hard sell for an affluent and leisured society convinced that its supposed success at evolving and improving human nature has made the tough lessons of the past seem prosaic and irrelevant.
Sporty looks and handling that made the Accord just a bit more exciting than its prosaic competitors made the car a favorite for years, but recent models had lost some of that edge.
SQN Capital Management typically finances and leases crucial, if prosaic, business equipment: think cement mixers, office furniture, honey-production machines, farm equipment.
The government’s second hiring challenge is more prosaic.
So the explanation for the deluge of Americana references may well be more prosaic.
The book’s ending, though, is anything but prosaic.
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
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