Physiognomy Phys`i*og"no*my, n.; pl. {Physiognomies}. [OE. fisonomie, phisonomie, fisnamie, OF. phisonomie, F. physiognomie, physiognomonie, from Gr. ?; fy`sis nature + ? one who knows or examines, a judge, fr. ?, ?, 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, with respect to 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]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Physiognomy — (Gk. physis , nature and gnomon , judge, interpreter) is the assessment of a person s character or personality from their outer appearance, especially the face. The term physiognomy can also refer to the general appearance of a person, object or… …   Wikipedia

  • physiognomy — physiognomy, physiology Physiognomy (pronounced with the g silent) is ‘the cast or form of a person s features’, whereas physiology is ‘the science of the functions of living organisms and their parts’ …   Modern English usage

  • physiognomy — index appearance (look), feature (appearance) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • physiognomy — late 14c., art of judging characters from facial features, from L.L. physiognomia, from Gk. physiognomia the judging of a person s nature by his features, from physio , comb. form of physis nature (see PHYSIC (Cf. physic)) + gnomon (gen.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • physiognomy — *face, countenance, visage, mug, puss …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • physiognomy — ► NOUN (pl. physiognomies) ▪ a person s facial features or expression, especially when regarded as indicative of character. ORIGIN Greek phusiogn monia, from phusis nature + gn m n judge or interpreter …   English terms dictionary

  • physiognomy — [fiz΄ē äg′nə mē; ] chiefly Brit [, fiz΄ēän′ə mē] n. [ME fisonomie < MFr phisonomie < ML physonomia < Gr physiognōmonia < physis, nature (see PHYSIC) + gnōmōn, one who knows: see GNOMON] 1. the practice of trying to judge character and …   English World dictionary

  • physiognomy — physiognomic /fiz ee og nom ik, ee euh nom /, physiognomical, physiognomonic /fiz ee og neuh mon ik, on euh /, physiognomonical, adj. physiognomically, physiognomonically, adv. physiognomist, n. /fiz ee og neuh mee, on euh mee/, n., pl.… …   Universalium

  • physiognomy — [[t]fɪ̱ziɒ̱nəmi[/t]] physiognomies N COUNT Your physiognomy is your face, especially when it is considered to show your real character. [FORMAL] He was fascinated by her physiognomy the prominent nose, brooding eyes and thick hair. Syn: face …   English dictionary

  • physiognomy — UK [ˌfɪzɪˈɒnəmɪ] / US [ˌfɪzɪˈɑnəmɪ] noun [countable] Word forms physiognomy : singular physiognomy plural physiognomies very formal the way that someone s face looks …   English dictionary

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