en·​vis·​age | \ in-ˈvi-zij How to pronounce envisage (audio) , en-\
envisaged; envisaging

Definition of envisage

transitive verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.

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.

Recent Examples on the Web

Its broad shape can be easily envisaged: Boris would give Brexit party candidates a free run in a number of seats now held by Labour and the Liberal Democrats — especially those Labour seats that voted heavily Leave in the referendum. John O'sullivan, National Review, "Can Anyone Beat Boris?," 9 July 2019 The original 2006 plan was later modified, and envisages posthumously donating all of the Berkshire stock within a decade after his estate is settled. latimes.com, "Warren Buffett to give away $3.6 billion to Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 4 other charities," 1 July 2019 Expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline envisages nearly tripling capacity on the existing 710-mile corridor to 890,000 barrels a day. Paul Vieira, WSJ, "Canada to Proceed With Trans Mountain Pipeline Project," 18 June 2019 Proposals could include seeking closer ties with the bloc than May’s deal envisages, or putting the Brexit deal to a public vote. Jill Lawless, The Seattle Times, "What Next? UK lawmakers torn on fate of Brexit, and May," 26 Mar. 2019 The plans envisaged the cost of a monthly MetroCard rising to $126.25 or $127, from $121 today. Paul Berger, WSJ, "MTA Holds Off on Fare and Toll Increases Proposed for March," 24 Jan. 2019 Further stops are envisaged in Vancouver, New York, and Shanghai. Max Maeckler, Vogue, "Bjarke Ingels’s Serpentine Pavilion Is on a World Tour: First Stop, Toronto," 24 Sep. 2018 The geographical extent of the plan, which envisages 47 new sales of drilling leases, surprised observers, though few think energy companies will operate in much of the area. The Economist, "Business this week," 11 Jan. 2018 The Stingray was originally conceived to carry weapons as well as provide refuelling capabilities, with later plans also envisaging its use for reconnaissance. Doug Cameron, WSJ, "Boeing Wins Big Navy Contract for Drones," 30 Aug. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of envisage

1660, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for envisage

French envisager, from en- + visage face

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about envisage

Listen to Our Podcast about envisage

Statistics for envisage

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for envisage

The first known use of envisage was in 1660

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for envisage



English Language Learners Definition of envisage

: to picture (something) in your mind

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on envisage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for envisage

Spanish Central: Translation of envisage

Nglish: Translation of envisage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of envisage for Arabic Speakers

Comments on envisage

What made you want to look up envisage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!