Definition of ventriloquist in US English:



  • A person who can speak or utter sounds so that they seem to come from somewhere else, especially an entertainer who makes their voice appear to come from a dummy of a person or animal.

    • ‘A freakish ventriloquist dummy with the face and voice of a small child told us where to go.’
    • ‘To me, this is the sort of person who has taken about as much personal responsibility for mental development as a ventriloquist's dummy.’
    • ‘Of course I should have probably looked through the spy hole because staring me in the face was a ventriloquist's dummy.’
    • ‘In it, you produce a wooden ventriloquist's dummy, carved to look a little bit like you.’
    • ‘Rather than serving as ventriloquists ' puppets for adult expression, Siegel's children seem to speak only for themselves.’
    • ‘Your friend's need for validation is somewhat odd and it's understandable that you do not relish being the ventriloquist's dummy.’
    • ‘This is part of his insightful and terrifyingly personal series of poems from a ventriloquist's dummy to its puppeteer.’
    • ‘Then he blinks, once, a bit slowly, like a ventriloquist dummy.’
    • ‘A ventriloquist and puppet collector is to put her rare collection on display.’
    • ‘Photos and playbills from famous ventriloquists line the walls.’
    • ‘Talking of which, I've just got a great job: it's writing a 20 minute dialogue for a ventriloquist and dummy.’
    • ‘The narrative may be a ventriloquist's dummy's dream, or the dream of a woman dreaming she's a ventriloquist's dummy.’
    • ‘The most sinister of these is a ventriloquist dummy Joey found in an old abandoned house.’
    • ‘The lonely Harlan Pepper, a would-be ventriloquist and believer in animal ESP, has his hopes riding on Hubert the bloodhound.’
    • ‘I had a ventriloquist's dummy and used to do magic shows for the family.’
    • ‘What you have are more voices by a single ventriloquist.’
    • ‘Like two ventriloquists ' dummies or two sides of the same coin, both master and slave are locked in association.’
    • ‘A large bronze doll seated alone on a low shelf at the far end of the room resembles a ventriloquist's puppet.’
    • ‘A young ventriloquist is touring the clubs and stops to entertain at a bar in a small town.’
    • ‘Pepper is a true renaissance man: in addition to showing Hubert, he runs a fly-fishing store and performs as a ventriloquist.’


Mid 17th century: from modern Latin ventriloquium (from Latin venter ‘belly’ + loqui ‘speak’) + -ist.