What Does the Word Prose Mean?

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Prose has a few meanings. It is sometimes used to define normal language used in written and verbal communication. In literature, though, prose is typically used to distinguish non-poetry literature from poetry. Whereas poems are often defined by patterns and rhythmic writing, prose is more ordinary writing.

Additional Prose Details

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary has several definitions of prose, including one that defines it as "to write or speak in a dull or ordinary manner." While this definition seems to convey a negative perspective on the writing, it simply means the writing uses plain, simple and easy-to-understand words and phrases. In a story, the writing often more closely mirrors everyday language used in conversation, as opposed to rhyming patterns and schemes in poetry.


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Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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