What does prose mean?

Definitions for prose

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word prose.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. prosenoun

    ordinary writing as distinguished from verse

  2. prosenoun

    matter of fact, commonplace, or dull expression


  1. prosenoun

    Language, particularly written language, not intended as poetry.

    Though known mostly for her prose, she also produced a small body of excellent poems.

  2. proseverb

    to write or repeat in a dull, tedious, or prosy way

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Prosenoun

    Language not restrained to harmonick sounds or set number of syllables; discourse not metrical.

    Etymology: prose, Fr. prosa, Lat.

    Things unattempted yet in prose or rhime. John Milton.

    The reformation of prose was owing to Giovanni Boccaccio, who is the standard of purity in the Italian tongue, though many of his phrases are become obsolete. Dryden.

    A poet lets you into the knowledge of a device better than a prose writer, as his descriptions are often more diffuse. Add.

    Prose men alone for private ends,
    I thought, forsook their ancient friends. Matthew Prior.

    I will be still your friend in prose:
    Esteem and friendship to express,
    Will not require poetick dress. Jonathan Swift.

    My head and heart thus flowing through my quill,
    Verse man and prose man, term me which you will. Alexander Pope.


  1. Prose

    Prose is a form of written or spoken language that follows the natural flow of speech, uses a language's ordinary grammatical structures, or follows the conventions of formal academic writing. It differs from most traditional poetry, where the form consists of verse (writing in lines) based on rhythmic metre or rhyme. The word "prose" first appears in English in the 14th century. It is derived from the Old French prose, which in turn originates in the Latin expression prosa oratio (literally, straightforward or direct speech). Works of philosophy, history, economics, etc., journalism, and most fiction (an exception is the verse novel), are examples of works written in prose. Developments in twentieth century literature, including free verse, concrete poetry, and prose poetry, have led to the idea of poetry and prose as two ends on a spectrum rather than firmly distinct from each other. The British poet T. S. Eliot noted, whereas "the distinction between verse and prose is clear, the distinction between poetry and prose is obscure."


  1. prose

    Prose is a form of language that exhibits a natural flow of speech and grammatical structure rather than a rhythmic structure like in poetry or verse. It includes a variety of writing styles such as novels, short stories, essays, and other types of non-poetic writing. Furthermore, prose can be either fictional or non-fictional.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Prosenoun

    the ordinary language of men in speaking or writing; language not cast in poetical measure or rhythm; -- contradistinguished from verse, or metrical composition

  2. Prosenoun

    hence, language which evinces little imagination or animation; dull and commonplace discourse

  3. Prosenoun

    a hymn with no regular meter, sometimes introduced into the Mass. See Sequence

  4. Proseadjective

    pertaining to, or composed of, prose; not in verse; as, prose composition

  5. Proseadjective

    possessing or exhibiting unpoetical characteristics; plain; dull; prosaic; as, the prose duties of life

  6. Proseverb

    to write in prose

  7. Proseverb

    to write or repeat in a dull, tedious, or prosy way

  8. Proseverb

    to write prose

  9. Etymology: [F. prose, L. prosa, fr. prorsus, prosus, straight forward, straight on, for proversus; pro forward + versus, p. p. of vertere to turn. See Verse.]


  1. Prose

    Prose is a form of language which applies ordinary grammatical structure and natural flow of speech rather than rhythmic structure. While there are critical debates on the construction of prose, its simplicity and loosely defined structure has led to its adoption for the majority of spoken dialogue, factual discourse as well as topical and fictional writing. It is commonly used, for example, in literature, newspapers, magazines, encyclopedias, broadcasting, film, history, philosophy, law and many other forms of communication.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Prose

    prōz, n. the direct, straightforward arrangement of words, free from poetical measures: ordinary spoken and written language: all writings not in verse.—adj. pertaining to prose: not poetical: plain: dull.—v.i. to write prose: to speak or write tediously.—v.t. to compose in prose.—ns. Prose′-man, Prō′ser, Prose′-writ′er, a writer of prose.—adv. Prō′sily, in a prosy manner: tediously.—ns. Prō′siness, the state or quality of being prosy; Prō′sing, speaking or writing in a dull or prosy way.—adj. Prō′sy, dull, tedious. [Fr.,—L. prosaprorsus, straightforward—pro, forward, vertĕre, versum, to turn.]

Suggested Resources

  1. prose

    Song lyrics by prose -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by prose on the Lyrics.com website.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. PROSE

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Prose is ranked #41426 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Prose surname appeared 525 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Prose.

    94.1% or 494 total occurrences were White.
    2.6% or 14 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.3% or 7 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.1% or 6 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Anagrams for prose »

  1. opers

  2. pores

  3. poser

  4. preso

  5. reops

  6. ropes

  7. spore

How to pronounce prose?

How to say prose in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of prose in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of prose in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of prose in a Sentence

  1. Paul Valery:

    ...in song the words tend to lose their significance, do often lose it, while at the other extreme, in current prose it is the musical value that tends to disappear - so that verse stands symmetrically, as it were, between song, on the one hand, and prose on the other - and is thus admirably and delicately balanced between the sensual and the intellectual power of language.

  2. David Hare:

    The poetry from the eighteenth century was prose; the prose from the seventeenth century was poetry.

  3. Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

    I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry that is prose words in their best order-poetry the best words in the best order.

  4. Samuel McChord Crothers:

    A prose writer gets tired of writing prose, and wants to be a poet. So he begins every line with a capital letter, and keeps on writing prose.

  5. Walter Savage Landor:

    Prose on certain occasions can bear a great deal of poetry; on the other hand, poetry sinks and swoons under a moderate weight of prose.

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Translations for prose

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"prose." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/prose>.

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