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[ven-tril-uh-kwiz-uh m] /vɛnˈtrɪl əˌkwɪz əm/
the art or practice of speaking, with little or no lip movement, in such a manner that the voice does not appear to come from the speaker but from another source, as from a wooden dummy.
Also called ventriloquy
[ven-tril-uh-kwee] /vɛnˈtrɪl ə kwi/ (Show IPA)
Origin of ventriloquism
1790-1800; ventriloqu(y) (< Medieval Latin ventriloquium, equivalent to Late Latin ventriloqu(us) a ventriloquist (ventri- ventri- + -loquus, derivative of loquī to speak) + -ium -ium) + -ism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for ventriloquy


the art of producing vocal sounds that appear to come from another source
Derived Forms
ventriloquial (ˌvɛntrɪˈləʊkwɪəl), ventriloqual (vɛnˈtrɪləkwəl) adjective
ventriloquially, adverb
ventriloquist, noun
ventriloquistic, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Latin venter belly + loquī to speak
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 ventriloquy

1580s, from Late Latin ventriloquus, from Latin venter (genitive ventris) "belly" (see ventral) + loqui "speak" (see locution).

Patterned on Greek engastrimythos, literally "speaking in the belly," which was not originally an entertainer's trick but rather a rumbling sort of internal speech, regarded as a sign of spiritual inspiration or (more usually) demonic possession. Reference to the modern activity so called seems to have begun early 18c., and by 1797 it was being noted that this was a curiously inappropriate word to describe throwing the voice.



1773, from ventriloquy + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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