ven·​tril·​o·​quist | \ ven-ˈtri-lə-kwist How to pronounce ventriloquist (audio) \

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

Other Words from ventriloquist

ventriloquistic \ (ˌ)ven-​ˌtri-​lə-​ˈkwi-​stik How to pronounce ventriloquist (audio) \ adjective

Examples of ventriloquist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After a bit of gentle choreography, Lamar sat at a piano and was joined by a twin ventriloquist’s dummy, a Lil’ Kenny reminiscent of the Lil’ Penny Nike ads of Lamar’s youth. Chris Kelly, Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2022 The secret to being a ventriloquist, Taylor confides, is not throwing your voice or keeping your lips from moving. San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Mar. 2022 The comedian and ventriloquist will headline the Wisconsin State Fair on Aug. 6, fair officials announced Friday. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 Mar. 2022 Other eye-catching events include the pie-eating contest on Feb. 19 and entertainment from racing pigs, an illusionist and a ventriloquist. Patrick Connolly,, 10 Feb. 2022 Or in the case of Stine’s beloved horror series, dozens of books starring a bevy of spooky frights: werewolves, ghosts, haunted Halloween masks and even an evil ventriloquist's dummy. Usa Today Staff, USA TODAY, 27 Sep. 2021 Ron Workman, 76, a puppeteer and ventriloquist, drove five hours from Amery just to be in the plaza. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 20 July 2021 Last year, when his tour of Australia was abruptly canceled midway through because of Covid, comic ventriloquist David Strassman found himself back home in America and bored. David James, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Apr. 2021 Curator José-Luis Blondet is the invisible ventriloquist, speaking through the selection and juxtaposition of mute objects. Los Angeles Times, 1 Apr. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of ventriloquist was circa 1656

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Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ventriloquist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for ventriloquist


ven·​tril·​o·​quist | \ ven-ˈtri-lə-kwəst How to pronounce ventriloquist (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on ventriloquist

Nglish: Translation of ventriloquist for Spanish Speakers


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