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3 definitions found
 for physiognomy
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Physiognomy \Phys`i*og"no*my\ (f[i^]z`[i^]*[o^]g"n[o^]*m[y^];
     277), n.; pl. Physiognomies
     (f[i^]z`[i^]*[o^]g"n[o^]*m[i^]z). [OE. fisonomie, phisonomie,
     fisnamie, OF. phisonomie, F. physiognomie, physiognomonie,
     from Gr. fysiognwmoni`a; fy`sis nature + gnw`mwn one who
     knows or examines, a judge, fr. gnw^mai, gignw`skein, to
     know. See Physic, and Know, and cf. Phiz.]
     1. The art and science of discovering the predominant temper,
        and other characteristic qualities of the mind, by the
        outward appearance, especially by the features of the
        face.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. The face or countenance, especially viewed as an
        indication of the temper of the mind; particular
        configuration, cast, or expression of countenance, as
        denoting character.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. The art telling fortunes by inspection of the features.
        [Obs.] --Bale.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. The general appearance or aspect of a thing, without
        reference to its scientific characteristics; as, the
        physiognomy of a plant, or of a meteor.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  physiognomy
      n 1: the human face (`kisser' and `smiler' and `mug' are
           informal terms for `face' and `phiz' is British) [syn:
           countenance, physiognomy, phiz, visage, kisser,
           smiler, mug]

From The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906) :

  PHYSIOGNOMY, n.  The art of determining the character of another by
  the resemblances and differences between his face and our own, which
  is the standard of excellence.
  
      "There is no art," says Shakespeare, foolish man,
          "To read the mind's construction in the face."
      The physiognomists his portrait scan,
          And say:  "How little wisdom here we trace!
      He knew his face disclosed his mind and heart,
      So, in his own defence, denied our art."
                                                           Lavatar Shunk
  

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