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[proh-zey-ik] /proʊˈzeɪ ɪk/
commonplace or dull; matter-of-fact or unimaginative:
a prosaic mind.
of or having the character or form of prose, the ordinary form of spoken or written language, rather than of poetry.
Sometimes, prosaical.
Origin of prosaic
First recorded in 1650-60, prosaic is from the Late Latin word prōsaicus. See prose, -ic
Related forms
prosaically, adverb
prosaicness, noun
nonprosaic, adjective
nonprosaicness, noun
nonprosaically, adverb
unprosaic, adjective
unprosaicness, noun
unprosaical, adjective
unprosaically, adverb
1. ordinary, everyday; vapid, humdrum, tedious, tiresome, uninteresting. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for prosaic
Historical Examples
  • prosaic people would say "melted snow water," but Hans Andersen would have known better than that.

    The Flaming Sword in Serbia and Elsewhere

    Mabel Annie Boulton Stobart
  • prosaic needles and thread assumed a mysterious charm in the dimpled hands of the girl he loved.

    The Shadow of Victory

    Myrtle Reed
  • In prosaic Misunderstandings he makes us realise precisely what we mean by religion.

    Why we should read S. P. B. Mais
  • prosaic cow-punching was relegated to the rear and they looked eagerly forward to their several missions.

    Hopalong Cassidy's Rustler Round-Up Clarence Edward Mulford
  • prosaic critics point out that such bowers were used as isolation huts for suspected cases.

    Bonnie Scotland A.R. Hope Moncrieff
  • prosaic commentators are always asking, Who is meant by a poet, as though a poem were a legal document.

    Alexander Pope Leslie Stephen
  • prosaic, unimaged, without poetry or myth, they dully persisted until pedlars appeared with Hellenic legends and wares.

  • prosaic as these journeys may seem, they are nevertheless the inspiration of my hopes, the feeders of my visions.

  • prosaic enough, however, was what she went on to tell him of her struggle for life by day and for learning by night.

    Ghetto Comedies

    Israel Zangwill
  • Two prosaic Persons come upon a little picture, by Mr. Swan, of a boy lying on a rock, piping to fishes.

    Voces Populi F. Anstey
British Dictionary definitions for prosaic


lacking imagination
having the characteristics of prose
Derived Forms
prosaically, adverb
prosaicness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin prōsaicus, from Latin prōsaprose
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for prosaic

1650s, "having to do with prose," from Middle French prosaique and directly from Medieval Latin prosaicus "in prose" (16c.), from Latin prosa "prose" (see prose). Meaning "having the character of prose (in contrast to the feeling of poetry)" is by 1746; extended sense of "ordinary" is by 1813, both from French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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