ven·​tril·​o·​quist | \ ven-ˈtri-lə-kwist \

Definition of ventriloquist

: 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

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Other Words from ventriloquist

ventriloquistic \ (ˌ)ven-​ˌtri-​lə-​ˈkwi-​stik \ adjective

Examples of ventriloquist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The incredibly talented singing ventriloquist will star in her very own holiday special, Darci Lynne: My Hometown Christmas, reports TV Insider. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'America's Got Talent' Winner Darci Lynne Farmer to Star in NBC Christmas Special," 13 Nov. 2018 The first Emmy Awards gave one of its six trophies to a ventriloquist! Devon Maloney, The Verge, "Hollywood had a breakdown trying to justify itself at the 2018 Emmys," 18 Sep. 2018 He was named one of the best junior ventriloquists in the country around the time of the story's airing. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Vintage Dallas video shows Bill O'Reilly and Jeff Dunham before they were famous," 11 June 2018 Roston would make a good ventriloquist, Cronhardt joked. Joe Robertson, kansascity, "'Is this how it ends?' wondered Lyft driver shot in Liberty. It wasn't," 17 June 2018 Oh yeah — that bizarre one-liner followed a ventriloquist who won the show last year using a dummy version of Simon to introduce him. New York Times, "NBC Tries to Dazzle Advertisers With Jennifer Lopez and Simon Cowell," 14 May 2018 Hager — aka Pops, his character name this year — will be joined by his ventriloquist dummy, Lolly, who’s been his sidekick for two years. Carolina Gusman,, "At the San Diego County Fair, it's all about the sweet stuff," 31 May 2018 The best ambassador is (Season 2 winner and ventriloquist) Terry Fator. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Simon Cowell promises fire, magic and scares in Season 13 of 'America's Got Talent'," 26 May 2018 Darci's got talent For someone who's become a star as a ventriloquist, Darci Lynne Farmer sure found her own voice. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What to do in Milwaukee this weekend: Ice princesses, road trips and the world of the Maya," 8 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ventriloquist.' 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 ventriloquist

circa 1656, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ventriloquist

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.

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for ventriloquist

The first known use of ventriloquist was circa 1656

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English Language Learners Definition of ventriloquist

: a performer who is able to speak in a way that makes it appear that the words are being said by a large doll (called a dummy)


ven·​tril·​o·​quist | \ ven-ˈtri-lə-kwəst \

Kids Definition of ventriloquist

: a person skilled in speaking in such a way that the voice seems to come from a source other than the speaker

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Spanish Central: Translation of ventriloquist

Nglish: Translation of ventriloquist for Spanish Speakers

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someone who never drinks alcohol

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