prefigure

verb
pre·​fig·​ure | \ ˌprē-ˈfi-gyər How to pronounce prefigure (audio) , especially British -ˈfi-gə \
prefigured; prefiguring; prefigures

Definition of prefigure

transitive verb

1 : to show, suggest, or announce by an antecedent type, image, or likeness
2 : to picture or imagine beforehand

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Other Words from prefigure

prefigurement \ ˌprē-​ˈfi-​gyər-​mənt How to pronounce prefigure (audio) , especially British  -​ˈfi-​gə-​ \ noun

Examples of prefigure in a Sentence

His style of painting prefigured the development of modern art. the first crocus traditionally prefigures the arrival of spring
Recent Examples on the Web Visits by Kerry to Saudi Arabia and Mexico before Glasgow could prefigure new commitments from both those countries. Washington Post, 15 Oct. 2021 Its remaining original construction — in the vernacular idiom, with touches that prefigure the Baroque, and an Orientalist flared red ceramic tile roof — dates to the late 1500s. New York Times, 24 Sep. 2021 As in life, guns prefigure and alter things, often irreparably. Jeffrey Ann Goudie, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Mar. 2021 Hamlet 2000 is a film of blue hallucinations and vertigo in a strange, nervous year that seems to prefigure the anguish that is 2020. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, 29 Dec. 2020 Jesus’ swaddling clothes prefigure his freeing us from death’s winding sheets. Alexandra Mullen, WSJ, 23 Dec. 2020 Not long ago, Hong Kong was seen as the city that would prefigure a more liberal, prosperous future for China. Washington Post, 3 July 2020 In one jaw-dropping sequence of side-by-sides, af Klint paintings uncannily prefigure later work by celebrated contemporaries and descendants, among them Albers, Klee and Warhol. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Apr. 2020 Leaving Portugal was another story, and the Kafkaesque obstacles European Jews encountered attempting to gain entry to the West prefigured the difficulties African and Syrian refugees face today. Thomas Chatterton Williams, Harper's Magazine, 30 Mar. 2020

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

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First Known Use of prefigure

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prefigure

Middle English, from Late Latin praefigurare, from Latin prae- pre- + figurare to shape, picture, from figura figure

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Time Traveler for prefigure

Time Traveler

The first known use of prefigure was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near prefigure

prefiguration

prefigure

prefile

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Statistics for prefigure

Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prefigure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prefigure. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for prefigure

prefigure

verb

English Language Learners Definition of prefigure

: to show or suggest (something that will happen or exist at a future time)

More from Merriam-Webster on prefigure

Nglish: Translation of prefigure for Spanish Speakers

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