transitive verb trans·fig·ure \tran(t)s-ˈfi-gyər, especially British -ˈfi-gər\

: to change the appearance of something or someone


Full Definition of TRANSFIGURE

:  to give a new and typically exalted or spiritual appearance to :  transform outwardly and usually for the better


  1. Her face seemed transfigured by happiness.
  2. <married life has seemingly transfigured his formerly aimless existence>


Middle English, from Anglo-French transfigurer, from Latin transfigurare, from trans- + figurare to shape, fashion, from figura figure
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of TRANSFIGURE

transform, metamorphose, transmute, convert, transmogrify, transfigure mean to change a thing into a different thing. transform implies a major change in form, nature, or function <transformed a small company into a corporate giant>. metamorphose suggests an abrupt or startling change induced by or as if by magic or a supernatural power <awkward girls metamorphosed into graceful ballerinas>. transmute implies transforming into a higher element or thing <attempted to transmute lead into gold>. convert implies a change fitting something for a new or different use or function <converted the study into a nursery>. transmogrify suggests a strange or preposterous metamorphosis <a story in which a frog is transmogrified into a prince>. transfigure implies a change that exalts or glorifies <joy transfigured her face>.


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