The art of projecting one's voice so that it seems to come from another source, as from a wooden figure.
[From Latin ventriloquus, speaking from the belly : venter, ventr-, belly + loquī, to speak; see tolkw- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
ven′tri·loqui·al (-trə-lōkwē-əl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.