Definition of prosaic in English:


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  • 1Having the style or diction of prose; lacking poetic beauty.

    ‘prosaic language can't convey the experience’
    • ‘The methodical and rather prosaic style may not have the literary skill of, say, Abanindranath Tagore's diary.’
    • ‘He also performs some prosaic poetry of more recent vintage, before nervously taking to the mic to croon.’
    • ‘Many poets seem threatened by the apparently easily appropriated and fungible modes of prose and prosaic rationality.’
    • ‘That's why in rehearsals he often decodes classical mime to prosaic prose.’
    • ‘No more than we want our poems to be poetic do we want our prose to be prosaic.’
    • ‘As it is, the prose passages are prosaic and the rap doggerel is merely tedious.’
    • ‘He might have said poetic language is not prosaic.’
    • ‘But both in his words and especially in his music, his language is surely prosaic.’
    • ‘First, it tells us that the verse has come to an end - which in prosaic language of the kind found here might not otherwise be apparent.’
    • ‘The English track captures the humor and spirit of the show in a way that the prosaic, overly literal, and frankly dull subtitles don't.’
    • ‘Here is a prosaic translation which is a complete disgrace to the original language.’
    • ‘The style seems prosaic and indicates a distance from the original oral narrative style.’
    • ‘I don't think I've seen prose this, well, prosaic since I was a teaching assistant grading papers at Columbia.’
    • ‘These poems and a few others tend to be prosaic, obsessed with private matters in banal terms.’
    • ‘The dialogue between the characters, while littered with profanities and raw language, is verbose and prosaic.’
    • ‘David, it's horrible when that language is prosaic but I thought that this language was really beautiful.’
    • ‘We rarely have to think deeply at all because the prosaic nature of our instrumental language does not call for it.’
    • ‘Indeed, in a literature that perhaps some find prosaic, these papers stand out for their wit and charm as well as their scholarship.’
    • ‘I'm saying something more prosaic and direct: the administration hasn't been honest about its intentions or goals.’
    • ‘But the unorthodox screenplay and prosaic dialogues struggle to convey something more than what other such films generally attempt to.’
    unimaginative, uninspired, matter-of-fact, dull, dry, humdrum, mundane, pedestrian, heavy, plodding, lifeless, dead, spiritless, lacklustre, undistinguished, stale, jejune, bland, insipid, vapid, vacuous, banal, hackneyed, trite, literal, factual, unpoetic, unemotional, unsentimental, clear, plain, unadorned, unembellished, unvarnished, monotonous, deadpan, flat
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    1. 1.1Commonplace; unromantic.
      ‘the masses were too preoccupied by prosaic day-to-day concerns’
      • ‘These, though, are vague considerations for him; his immediate concerns are more prosaic.’
      • ‘They're mostly worried about a more prosaic concern, which is whether the game is fun.’
      • ‘Though aware of surrounding political, military and social developments, they focused on more prosaic concerns.’
      • ‘The ordinary and prosaic details of a work of art often end up telling a story independent of the one the author intended.’
      • ‘The 15 photographs in the series depict prosaic, everyday landscapes: a parking lot, a sports field, a construction site.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the music on the whole is prosaic, even boring at times.’
      • ‘On Monday, Wall Street reopened for business in defiant tone but more prosaic realities quickly took over, dragging the Dow to its largest ever one-day points fall.’
      • ‘Or, is it possible that the truth is more prosaic?’
      • ‘The truth is more prosaic, but also more disturbing.’
      • ‘Although used mainly by the sex industry, their original purpose was more prosaic.’
      • ‘Think about how often we settle for a routine that is rather prosaic or practical.’
      • ‘His crime, by contrast, seems rather prosaic.’
      • ‘He has the knack for creating excitement around the most prosaic merchandise.’
      • ‘At the most prosaic level, any journalist has experience of how bad some press officers can be.’
      • ‘But this determination to bring everything down to the most prosaic level just inspires indifference in the reader.’
      • ‘They concluded that at least five percent of reported cases defied a prosaic explanation.’
      • ‘Old sportswriters tend to use mysticism to clarify events that have prosaic, tangible explanations.’
      • ‘But for all these prosaic explanations, there is also a sense of mystery about this work.’
      • ‘Yes, because obviously any such diagnosis won't hinge on anything as prosaic as actual symptoms.’
      • ‘The prosaic reality often falls short of this exalted ideal.’
      ordinary, everyday, usual, common, conventional, straightforward, routine, humdrum, commonplace, run-of-the-mill, workaday, businesslike, pedestrian, tame, mundane, dull, dreary, tedious, boring, ho-hum, uninspiring, monotonous
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/prəˈzāik/ /prəˈzeɪɪk/


Late 16th century (as a noun denoting a prose writer): from late Latin prosaicus, from Latin prosa ‘straightforward (discourse)’ (see prose). Current senses of the adjective date from the mid 18th century.