Simple Definition of envisage
: to picture (something) in your mind
Full Definition of envisage
1 : to view or regard in a certain way <envisages the slum as a hotbed of crime>
2 : to have a mental picture of especially in advance of realization <envisages an entirely new system of education>
Examples of envisage in a sentence
I envisage a day when proper health care will be available to everyone.
<I'm trying to envisage you on a surfboard.>
Did You Know?
Envisage has been part of the English language since the 17th century. In the early 19th century, it was sometimes used with the now archaic sense of "to meet squarely" or "to confront." By 1837, the word had developed the sense "to have a mental picture of." In the 1920s, some usage commentators began deriding envisage for reasons not entirely clear, declaring it "undesirable." Today, time and usage have won out, and envisage is widely used and accepted, though it is slightly formal in tone. The same can be said of its near twin envision ("to picture to oneself"), which has been with us since the late 19th century and is interchangeable with envisage in many contexts.
Origin of envisage
French envisager, from en- + visage face
First Known Use: 1660
Synonym Discussion of envisage
think, cogitate, reflect, reason, speculate, deliberate mean to use one's powers of conception, judgment, or inference. think is general and may apply to any mental activity, but used alone often suggests attainment of clear ideas or conclusions <teaches students how to think>. cogitate implies deep or intent thinking <cogitated on the mysteries of nature>. reflect suggests unhurried consideration of something recalled to the mind <reflecting on fifty years of married life>. reason stresses consecutive logical thinking <able to reason brilliantly in debate>. speculate implies reasoning about things theoretical or problematic <speculated on the fate of the lost explorers>. deliberate suggests slow or careful reasoning before forming an opinion or reaching a conclusion or decision <the jury deliberated for five hours>.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up envisage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).