[ fiz-ee-og-nuh-mee, -on-uh-mee ]
/ ˌfɪz iˈɒg nə mi, -ˈɒn ə mi /
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noun, plural phys·i·og·no·mies.
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.
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Origin of physiognomy
1350–1400; earlier phisognomie, phisiognomie,late Middle English phisonomie<Medieval Latin physionomia, physonomia<Late Greek physiognōmía, syncopated variant of Greek physiognōmonía art of judging a person by his features (see physio-, gnomon, -y3); replacing Middle English fisenamie, fisnamie, fisnomie<Middle French fisonomie<Medieval Latin, as above; cf. phiz
OTHER WORDS FROM physiognomyphys·i·og·nom·ic [fiz-ee-og-nom-ik, ‐ee-uh-nom‐], /ˌfɪz i ɒgˈnɒm ɪk, ‐i əˈnɒm‐/, phys·i·og·nom·i·cal, phys·i·og·no·mon·ic [fiz-ee-og-nuh-mon-ik, ‐on-uh‐], /ˌfɪz iˌɒg nəˈmɒn ɪk, ‐ˌɒn ə‐/, phys·i·og·no·mon·i·cal, adjectivephys·i·og·nom·i·cal·ly, phys·i·og·no·mon·i·cal·ly, adverbphys·i·og·no·mist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use physiognomy in a sentence
Two pairs of eyes, two smiles, two human physiognomies once again met his arrested gaze.The Wave|Algernon Blackwood
The Mahomedans and Jews have more marked features; the latter resemble the Arabs, and, like them, have noble physiognomies.A Woman's Journey Round the World|Ida Pfeiffer
At the bedside of their patients the physiognomies of these fashionable doctors become expert in lying.The Nabob|Alphonse Daudet
Generally their physiognomies are pleasing, but they cannot be said to have much character.Celebrated Travels and Travellers|Jules Verne
They are, however, also less disposed to riots and disturbances than the darker physiognomies.Secret Societies And Subversive Movements|Nesta H. Webster
British Dictionary definitions for physiognomy
/ (ˌfɪzɪˈɒnəmɪ) /
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
Derived forms of physiognomyphysiognomic (ˌfɪzɪəˈnɒmɪk) or physiognomical, adjectivephysiognomically, adverbphysiognomist, noun
Word Origin for physiognomy
C14: from Old French phisonomie, via Medieval Latin, from Late Greek phusiognōmia, erroneous for Greek phusiognōmonia, from phusis nature + gnōmōn judge
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