Posted in Language


In the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the word prosaic is defined as an adjective, firstly meaning ‘ordinary and not showing any imagination’, synonymous of unimaginative. And secondly meaning ‘dull, not romantic’, synonymous of mundane. The adverb form of this word is prosaically, which could be used to say for example: ‘he writes prosaically‘ (his writing style bears no imagination). The second meaning of the word can be used to say: ‘I decided to join a drama group because I was tired of my prosaic life and decided it was time for some excitement’.

This word originates from the Latin “prosaicus”, which has a root in the Latin “prosa”, which means prose, straightforward writing. Its first records date from the 1600’s, to refer to any text that was not poetic without any negative connotation. However, with the rise of the poetry status as a higher form of writing, considered to be more beautiful and imaginative than prose, by the end of the century, the prose style was given a lower status. This resulted in the natural evolution to the current meanings of prosaic, usually negative.

I like the sound of the word and I think is kind of poetic, I will definitely start introducing it in my poetry writing. Let me know in the comments below what do you think of this word. Were you surprised by any of this?

Thanks for reading and please comment, xxx




I am a student of English and Creative Writing. I am Portuguese but I have lived in the UK since 2002. Words are my magical place. I am a mother, have a day time job and a partner who is the love of my life.

One thought on “Prosaic

  1. It’s interesting that it’s such a poetic word to use to mean “ordinary” or “boring.” It’s like by telling someone that their writing is prosaic, you’re showing them how they can do better!

    Liked by 1 person

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