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
Mounira al Solh, a visual artist born in Lebanon, used this prosaic format as a medium to tell the stories of individuals displaced by the Syrian Civil War.
There are prosaic details in it that make the story seem richer as a song.
Lesson three is that power on Wall Street has tilted away from traders and high-octane clients like hedge funds towards a more prosaic cast of characters: brokers, passive asset managers, corporate treasurers and well-off individuals.
By layering geometric abstractions over the 9/11 words and images, Ashford creates a powerful tension over the clash between two kinds of cultural languages - one poetic, the other prosaic and conventional.
That’s entertainment There’s a vast difference between ladies’ clubs like Hardbodies and gentleman’s clubs — or to use the more prosaic term, strip joints.
As the usual rich-family squabbling heats up, the pic develops both a supernatural threat and some more prosaic ones.
Their goals are often surprisingly modest, even prosaic at times.
These are the sort of things that make headlines when they are revealed but which are often prosaic in origin or execution.
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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