[ ven-tril-uh-kwiz-uhm ]

  1. 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.

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
  • Also called ven·tril·o·quy [ven-tril-uh-kwee]. /vɛnˈtrɪl ə kwi/.

Words Nearby ventriloquism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ventriloquism in a sentence

  • Although always a delightful form of entertainment, ventriloquism is to most of us more or less of a mystery.

    Magic | Ellis Stanyon
  • ventriloquism and Conjuring always go together, and I'll be bound he's underneath the table now!

    In Brief Authority | F. Anstey
  • They were, apparently, determined to settle the question of ventriloquism beyond any future doubt.

British Dictionary definitions for ventriloquism



/ (vɛnˈtrɪləˌkwɪzəm) /

  1. the art of producing vocal sounds that appear to come from another source

Origin of ventriloquism

C18: from Latin venter belly + loquī to speak

Derived forms of ventriloquism

  • ventriloquial (ˌvɛntrɪˈləʊkwɪəl) or ventriloqual (vɛnˈtrɪləkwəl), adjective
  • ventriloquially, adverb
  • ventriloquist, noun
  • ventriloquistic, adjective

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