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 pro·sa·i·cal.

Origin of prosaic

First recorded in 1650–60, prosaic is from the Late Latin word prōsaicus. See prose, -ic
Related formspro·sa·i·cal·ly, adverbpro·sa·ic·ness, nounnon·pro·sa·ic, adjectivenon·pro·sa·ic·ness, nounnon·pro·sa·i·cal·ly, adverbun·pro·sa·ic, adjectiveun·pro·sa·ic·ness, nounun·pro·sa·i·cal, adjectiveun·pro·sa·i·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for prosaic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prosaic

Historical Examples of prosaic

  • Prosaic people would say "melted snow water," but Hans Andersen would have known better than that.

  • Prosaic needles and thread assumed a mysterious charm in the dimpled hands of the girl he loved.

  • 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.

  • Prosaic critics point out that such bowers were used as isolation huts for suspected cases.

    Bonnie Scotland

    A.R. Hope Moncrieff

British Dictionary definitions for prosaic



lacking imagination
having the characteristics of prose
Derived Formsprosaically, adverbprosaicness, noun

Word Origin for prosaic

C16: from Late Latin prōsaicus, from Latin prōsa prose
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

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