or pro·so·po·pe·ia

[ proh-soh-puh-pee-uh ]
/ proʊˌsoʊ pəˈpi ə /

noun Rhetoric.

personification, as of inanimate things.
a figure of speech in which an imaginary, absent, or deceased person is represented as speaking or acting.

Nearby words

  1. prosopodiplegia,
  2. prosopography,
  3. prosoponeuralgia,
  4. prosopopeia,
  5. prosopoplegia,
  6. prosoposchisis,
  7. prosopospasm,
  8. prosopyle,
  9. prospect,
  10. prospect heights

Origin of prosopopoeia

1555–65; < Latin prosōpopoeia < Greek prosōpopoiía personification, equivalent to prósōpo(n) face, person + poi(eîn) to make + -ia -ia

Related formspro·so·po·poe·ial, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for prosopopeia



/ (ˌprɒsəpəˈpiːə) /


rhetoric another word for personification
a figure of speech that represents an imaginary, absent, or dead person speaking or acting
Derived Formsprosopopoeial or prosopopeial, adjective

Word Origin for prosopopoeia

C16: via Latin from Greek prosōpopoiia dramatization, from prosōpon face + poiein to make

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 prosopopeia



also prosopopoeia, 1560s, from Latin prosopopoeia, from Greek prosopopoiia "the putting of speeches into the mouths of others," from prosopon "person, face" (literally "that which is toward the eyes," from pros "to" + ops "eye, face;" see eye (n.)) + poiein "make" (see poet). Generally, a rhetorical figure in which an imaginary or absent person is made to speak or act.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper