prose

noun
\ ˈprōz \

Definition of prose

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : the ordinary language people use in speaking or writing
b : a literary medium distinguished from poetry especially by its greater irregularity and variety of rhythm and its closer correspondence to the patterns of everyday speech
2 : a dull or ordinary style, quality, or condition

prose

adjective

Definition of prose (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : of, relating to, or written in prose
2 : prosaic

prose

verb
prosed; prosing

Definition of prose (Entry 3 of 4)

intransitive verb

1 : to write prose
2 : to write or speak in a dull or ordinary manner
\ ˈprō-ˈsā , -ˈsē\

Definition of pro se (Entry 4 of 4)

: on one's own behalf : without an attorney a pro se action a defendant's right to proceed pro se

Examples of prose in a Sentence

Noun

… the esteemed critic James Wood reaches out to assure "the common reader" … that his prose is as free as he can make it of what James Joyce termed "the true scholastic stink" of so much academic writing. — Walter Kirn, New York Times Book Review, 17 Aug. 2008 Like many two-person writing teams, this one produces its share of three-legged prose and redundancy. — James McManus, New York Times Book Review, 15 Apr. 2001 In my own work I felt a need to hurry from climax as in film montage, or even in Joycean prose with its strings of firecracker words … — Arthur Miller, Timebends, 1987 She writes in very clear prose.

Verb

'In the meantime,' said Traddles, coming back to his chair; 'and this is the end of my prosing about myself, I get on as well as I can. I don't make much, but I don't spend much … ' — Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, 1850

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The three-volume work was an epic of cultural commentary, architectural criticism, and political philosophy—all laid out in elegiac, meditative prose. Tristram Hunt, WSJ, "Elegy for the Floating City," 25 Jan. 2019 In prose that moves between lyrical and caterwauling, the poet Laura Sims has pulled off the high-wire act of making bitterness delicious. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Most Anticipated Books of 2019: 19 Picks You Should Have on Your Reading List," 1 Jan. 2019 And now, 50 years later, Mary Hollingsworth takes up the same job, telling in vivid and well-researched prose the particulars of one clan's merciless self-aggrandizement. Steve Donoghue, The Christian Science Monitor, "'The Family Medici' vividly and clearly tells the story of one clan's merciless self-aggrandizement," 28 Mar. 2018 To help, Arax collapses four hundred years of history in prose both poetic and concise. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Couple Who Turned a California Desert Into a Multi-Billion Dollar Snack Empire," 6 Feb. 2018 That duality continues in every facet of the game: Meatpunks mixes ASCII art and detailed character portraits; flowing, sentimental prose and internet slang-riddled dialogue; moments of quiet sadness and punchy, rebellious violence. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "Extreme Meatpunks Forever," 11 July 2018 In clear prose and charts, the flyer described the purpose for the additional tax revenues. Indystar, Indianapolis Star, "Hicks: Would you support higher taxes if you saw a tangible benefit?," 22 Apr. 2018 Diggs and Casal wrote the movie, which draws its dialogue from a combination of prose and hip-hop poetry. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "See the Mr. Rogers and Ruth Bader Ginsburg docs early at the Philadelphia Film Society's SpringFest," 12 Apr. 2018 His straightforward prose and personal anecdotes make all of it eminently digestible. David Holahan, USA TODAY, "Who are we? Will Storr's new book 'Selfie' asks the tough question," 26 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective or adverb

On his own, with no legal training, Kameny wrote and filed a pro se appeal to the Supreme Court — the first time the rights of gays, or lack thereof, were taken to the nation’s highest court. Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post, "The gay rights pioneer who demanded justice from the Supreme Court in 1960," 9 June 2018 Often, pro se litigants are left waiting for extended periods of time on court dockets, for instance the domestic violence docket. Nick Hollkamp, The Courier-Journal, "Voters guide: Candidates for family court and district judges," 16 May 2018 McGrath also ordered the county to repay a $25 fee a cleveland.com reporter paid to file the pro se lawsuit. Cory Shaffer, cleveland.com, "Judge orders Cuyahoga County to release video of jail guard attacking inmate," 26 Feb. 2018 For example, instead of trying to fund lawyers for litigants who might otherwise represent themselves, legal processes could be made more friendly to pro se representation. Jonathan H. Adler, WSJ, "The Case for Fewer Lawyers," 6 Sep. 2017 Aside from pro se, your options include any one of the following (or a combination thereof), in order of least to most expensive and starting at about $2,000. Charlotte Cowles, The Cut, "I Can’t Afford to Divorce My Rich Husband," 26 Oct. 2017 During courtroom proceedings, judges report, pro se litigants often fail to raise objections or properly introduce evidence. Jonathan H. Adler, WSJ, "The Case for Fewer Lawyers," 6 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prose.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of prose

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective or adverb

1861, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for prose

Noun, Adjective, and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin prosa, from feminine of prorsus, prosus, straightforward, being in prose, contraction of proversus, past participle of provertere to turn forward, from pro- forward + vertere to turn — more at pro-, worth

Adjective or adverb

Latin

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Statistics for prose

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for prose

The first known use of prose was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for prose

prose

noun

English Language Learners Definition of prose

: writing that is not poetry : ordinary writing

prose

noun
\ ˈprōz \

Kids Definition of prose

1 : the ordinary language that people use in speaking or writing
2 : writing without the repeating rhythm that is used in poetry
\ ˈprō-ˈsā, -ˈsē\

Legal Definition of pro se

: on one's own behalf : without an attorney a defendant's right to proceed pro se a pro se action

History and Etymology for prose

Latin

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More from Merriam-Webster on prose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prose

Spanish Central: Translation of prose

Nglish: Translation of prose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prose for Arabic Speakers

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