ven·​tril·​o·​quist ven-ˈtri-lə-kwist How to pronounce ventriloquist (audio)
: one who uses or is skilled in ventriloquism
especially : one who provides entertainment by using ventriloquism to carry on an apparent conversation with a hand-manipulated dummy
ventriloquistic adjective

Examples of ventriloquist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The couple shares one daughter, Nina, an actress and ventriloquist. Declan Gallagher,, 13 July 2023 From singers and dancers to ventriloquists, magicians and everything in between, here are the 40 show-stopping contestants who were drafted for America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League. Esther Kang, Peoplemag, 15 Nov. 2023 Other notable acts featured in the teaser include ventriloquist Darci Lynne, country singer Drake Milligan, singer Kodi Lee, aerialist Aidan Bryant, country trio Chapel Hart, and magician Piff the Magic Dragon. Esther Kang, Peoplemag, 11 Dec. 2023 But Bergen warns not to peek back, after one time spotting a creepy ventriloquist dummy. Vulture, 3 Dec. 2023 Shari & Lamb Chop premiere The documentary, which follows ventriloquist Shari Lewis and her beloved sock puppet Lamb Chop, premiered in New York on Saturday. Kirsten Chuba, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Nov. 2023 Vienne has worked as both a puppeteer and a ventriloquist, and the piece required something of both. Kally Patz, Vogue, 20 Oct. 2023 Semi-divine Helen, Zeus’ daughter, has a witchy seventh sense, a ventriloquist’s voice, and a pharmacy of magic potions. Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, 11 Sep. 2023 Night of the Living Dummy – Things get weird and terrifying when a girl gets her hands on a ventriloquist's dummy. Saleen Martin, USA TODAY, 8 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ventriloquist.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Late Latin ventriloquus "person who appears to produce speech sounds from within his or her body (as during spirit possession or under control of a deity)" (from Latin ventr-, venter "belly, abdomen" + -i- -i- + -loquus, agent derivative of loquī "to speak") + -ist entry 1 — more at venter, eloquent

Note: The Late Latin word was coined as a translation of Greek engastrímythos.

First Known Use

circa 1656, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ventriloquist was circa 1656

Dictionary Entries Near ventriloquist

Cite this Entry

“Ventriloquist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


ven·​tril·​o·​quist ven-ˈtril-ə-kwəst How to pronounce ventriloquist (audio)
: a person skilled in speaking in such a way that the voice seems to come from a source other than the speaker

from Latin ventriloquus "ventriloquist," from ventr-, venter "stomach, belly" and loqui "to speak"; so called from the early belief that the voice is produced in the ventriloquist's stomach

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