pro·​so·​po·​poe·​ia prə-ˌsō-pə-ˈpē-ə How to pronounce prosopopoeia (audio)
: a figure of speech in which an imaginary or absent person is represented as speaking or acting

Word History


borrowed from Latin prosōpopoeia, borrowed from Greek prosōpopoiía, from prósōpon "face, mask, role, person" (from pros- "facing, opposite" + -ōp- "eye, sight," hence, "the eyes, or sight, opposite own's own") + -poiia "making," from poi-, base of poieîn "to make" + -ia -ia — more at pros-, eye entry 1, poet

First Known Use

1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of prosopopoeia was in 1550

Dictionary Entries Near prosopopoeia

Cite this Entry

“Prosopopoeia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

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