[ven-tril-uh-kwiz-uh m]


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/. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ventriloquism

Contemporary Examples of ventriloquism

  • And if I'm not actually alive, Kurt could bring my urnful of ashes and do ventriloquism.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Requiem for a Tough Guy

    Kurt Andersen

    June 3, 2009

Historical Examples of ventriloquism

British Dictionary definitions for ventriloquism




the art of producing vocal sounds that appear to come from another source
Derived Formsventriloquial (ˌvɛntrɪˈləʊkwɪəl) or ventriloqual (vɛnˈtrɪləkwəl), adjectiveventriloquially, adverbventriloquist, nounventriloquistic, adjective

Word Origin for ventriloquism

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

Word Origin and History for ventriloquism

1773, from ventriloquy + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper