Definition of prose in English:



  • 1Written or spoken language in its ordinary form, without metrical structure.

    ‘a short story in prose’
    [as modifier] ‘a prose passage’
    • ‘The novel's lyrical prose and descriptions are its strong points.’
    • ‘This is where the prose poem can develop as a major form.’
    • ‘To say that a man cannot write clear prose is not necessarily to blame him.’
    • ‘I chose prose narrative fiction as the crucial focus of comparison and confrontation among cultures of the world.’
    • ‘His lifelong concern with the South also pervades most of his non-fiction prose works.’
    • ‘In a field that is often obscure, he was a master of lucid prose.’
    • ‘Beautifully written in lyrical prose, it includes some wonderful turns of phrase.’
    • ‘The author's prose is clear and his image of Zimbabwe is accessible and understandable, if perhaps oversimplified.’
    • ‘The book is plagued by turgid prose, facile observations, and far-fetched inferences from limited evidence.’
    • ‘All infused new life and elegance into Urdu prose.’
    • ‘Strive for lively prose, leaning on strong verbs and sharp nouns.’
    • ‘In all his writings the fruits of observation and reflection were exhibited in lucid prose.’
    • ‘He points to the clear, simple prose of Ernest Hemingway and Samuel Beckett as examples of brilliant writing that is not bewildering for its complexity.’
    • ‘But Nabokov's beauty is to be found in his stunningly original poetic prose.’
    • ‘So I think people who are trying to help students genuinely write better English prose are doing a noble service.’
    • ‘In order to obtain formal grace, prose writers had to lessen their ambitions.’
    • ‘The author's prose throughout the work is little short of flawless.’
    • ‘His approach allowed me to see that not all food writing has to be flowery prose.’
    • ‘The author is no great prose stylist but the writing is competent and fluent.’
    • ‘And these were many, written in his much admired and inimitable prose style.’
    1. 1.1[count noun]A passage of prose for translation into a foreign language.
    2. 1.2Plain or dull writing, discourse, or expression.
      ‘closely typed in best office prose’
      • ‘This morning I read it, and it is a lump of leaden prose, ungainly and unattractive, like a plain fat spotty teenager at her prom, dressed like a Christmas cake.’
  • 2

    another term for sequence


  • 1[no object] Talk tediously.

    ‘he was still prosing away about the advantages of a warm climate’
    • ‘One lesson prosed that the apostle Paul survived the ship wreck at Malta because he had ‘eaten carrots and was strong.’’
    • ‘He was prosing on again about rigging candidate selection, to the benefit of women and ethnic minorities.’
    • ‘‘We were merely prosing about old times.’’
  • 2dated [with object] Compose in or convert into prose.


Middle English: via Old French from Latin prosa (oratio) straightforward (discourse), feminine of prosus, earlier prorsus direct.