Word of the Day – Prosaic

Word of the Day : March 1, 2022


adjective proh-ZAY-ik

What It Means

Prosaic is a synonym of dullunimaginativeeveryday, or ordinary, but its original meaning is “characteristic of prose as distinguished from poetry.”

// Retirement can lead to a prosaic lifestyle unless you will yourself to seek adventure. 

// The poem is filled with prosaic lines; however, there is much to contemplate in between.

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PROSAIC in Context

“Most of these phenomena turn out to have prosaic explanations—such as weather balloons, space debris and atmospheric effects in the sky….” — Dillon Guthrie, The Richmond (Virginia) Times Dispatch, 4 Jan. 2022

Did You Know?

In the past, any text that was not poetic was prosaic. Back then, prosaic carried no negative connotations; it simply indicated that a written work was made up of prose. That sense clearly owes much to the meaning of the word’s Latin source prosa, meaing “prose.” Poetry is viewed, however, as the more beautiful, imaginative, and emotional type of writing, and prose was relegated to the status of mundane and plain-Jane. As a result, English speakers started using prosaic to refer to anything considered matter-of-fact or ordinary, and they gradually transformed it into a synonym for “colorless,” “drab,” “lifeless,” and “lackluster.”