- the face or countenance, especially when considered as an index to the character: a fierce physiognomy.
- Also called anthroposcopy. the art of determining character or personal characteristics from the form or features of the body, especially of the face.
- the outward appearance of anything, taken as offering some insight into its character: the physiognomy of a nation.
Origin of physiognomy
Examples from the Web for physiognomy
The nude of the 19th century was often a tool for anatomical study: an intellectualized and idealized approach to physiognomy.‘Masculin/Masculin,’ a Retrospective of Male Nudity in Art, Opens in Paris
September 25, 2013
The First Secretary observed this play of physiognomy steadily.The Secret Agent
It had a physiognomy and character of its own—this fantastic foreigner!Night and Morning, Complete
There is that in his physiognomy that shows his ugly disposition, when aroused.Blood and Iron
John Hubert Greusel
His physiognomy had an expression I had never seen before on any face.
There was no sign of mercy or moderation in his physiognomy.
- a person's features or characteristic expression considered as an indication of personality
- the art or practice of judging character from facial features
- the outward appearance of something, esp the physical characteristics of a geographical region
Word Origin and History for physiognomy
late 14c., "art of judging characters from facial features," from Old French phizonomie and directly from Late Latin physiognomia, from Greek physiognomia "the judging of a person's nature by his features," from physio- (see physio-) + gnomon (genitive gnomonos) "judge, indicator" (see gnomon). Meaning "face, countenance, features" is from c.1400. Related: Physiognomical.
- Facial features, especially when considered as an indicator of character or as a factor in diagnosis.
- Estimation of one's character and mental qualities by a study of the face and general bodily carriage.