- the practice of trying to judge character and mental qualities by observation of bodily, esp. facial, features
- the facial features and expression of a person, esp. when regarded as indicative of character
- apparent characteristics; outward features or appearance
Origin of physiognomyMiddle English fisonomie from Middle French phisonomie from Medieval Latin physonomia from Classical Greek physiogn?monia from physis, nature (see physic) + gn?m?n, one who knows: see gnomon
- Facial features.
- a. The art of judging human character from facial features.b. Divination based on facial features.
- Aspect and character of an inanimate or abstract entity: the physiognomy of New England.
Origin of physiognomyMiddle English phisonomie from Old French phisionomie from Late Latin physiognōmia from Greek phusiognōmiā variant of phusiognōmoniā phusio- physio- gnōmōn gnōmon- interpreter ; see gnō- in Indo-European roots.
- phys′i·og·nom′ic phys′i·og·nom′i·cal
- The art or pseudoscience of deducing the predominant temper and other characteristic qualities of the mind from the outward appearance, especially from the features of the face.
- The face or countenance, with respect to the temper of the mind; particular configuration, cast, or expression of countenance, as denoting character.
- The art of telling fortunes by inspection of the features.
- The general appearance or aspect of a thing, without reference to its scientific characteristics; as, the physiognomy of a plant, or of a meteor.
From Anglo-Norman phisenomie, Middle French phisonomie et al., and their source, Late Latin physiognomia, from Ancient Greek Ï†Ï…ÏƒÎ¹Î¿Î³Î½Ï‰Î¼Î¿Î½Î¯Î± (phusiognÅmonia, “the science or art of judging a man by his features"), from Ï†ÏÏƒÎ¹Ï‚ (phusis, “physique, appearance") + Î³Î½ÏŽÎ¼Ï‰Î½ (gnÅmÅn, “one that knows or examines, an interpreter, discerner").