verb en·vis·age \ in-ˈvi-zij , en- \
|Updated on: 31 Jul 2018

Definition of envisage

envisaged; envisaging
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

envisage was our Word of the Day on 10/15/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of envisage in a Sentence

  1. I envisage a day when proper health care will be available to everyone.

  2. I'm trying to envisage you on a surfboard.

Recent Examples of envisage from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'envisage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 and Etymology of envisage

French envisager, from en- + visage face

Synonym Discussion of envisage

think, conceive, imagine, fancy, realize, envisage, envision mean to form an idea of. think implies the entrance of an idea into one's mind with or without deliberate consideration or reflection.
    • I just thought of a good joke
conceive suggests the forming and bringing forth and usually developing of an idea, plan, or design.
    • conceived of a new marketing approach
imagine stresses a visualization.
    • imagine you're at the beach
fancy suggests an imagining often unrestrained by reality but spurred by desires.
    • fancied himself a super athlete
realize stresses a grasping of the significance of what is conceived or imagined.
    • realized the enormity of the task ahead
envisage and envision imply a conceiving or imagining that is especially clear or detailed.
    • envisaged a totally computerized operation
    • envisioned a cure for the disease

ENVISAGE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of envisage for English Language Learners

  • : to picture (something) in your mind

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