proph·​e·​cy | \ ˈprä-fə-sē How to pronounce prophecy (audio) \
variants: or less commonly prophesy
plural prophecies also prophesies

Definition of prophecy

1 : an inspired utterance of a prophet
2 : the function or vocation of a prophet specifically : the inspired declaration of divine will and purpose
3 : a prediction of something to come

Examples of prophecy in a Sentence

The prophecies of the author have all come true. She has the gift of prophecy.
Recent Examples on the Web Then HiB delivers yet another fatal headshot and fulfills Bernard's prophecy. Andrew Walsh,, 8 Aug. 2022 That in turn could hold consumer pessimism in check, keeping fear of stagflation from becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, 2 Aug. 2022 But Witch University isn't just all-nighters and wild parties — there may be a secret prophecy involved, too. Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 19 July 2022 For millions of American Christians in the late 1800s, a Jewish return to Zion was less about helping Jews than about proving the truth of biblical prophecy in a country where many seemed to be losing their religion. Matti Friedman, The Atlantic, 15 July 2022 But how much of a self-fulfilling prophecy are brands delivering to consumers? Kiri Masters, Forbes, 20 June 2022 Should the Twitter deal prove to be vaporware, that episode will resemble a form of unintentional prophecy. Brian Contreras, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2022 Expectations can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Caroline Castrillon, Forbes, 10 July 2022 This idea that your attachment style is fixed and immutable, says Sequeira, can become a self-fulfilling prophecy which dooms relationships to stasis and failure. Vicky Spratt,, 6 June 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of prophecy

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prophecy

Middle English prophecie, prophesie, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Late Latin prophētīa, borrowed from Greek prophēteía "gift of interpreting the will of the gods, interpretation of a god's will," (New Testament) "gift of speaking, preaching and expounding scripture under the Holy Spirit's influence," from prophḗtēs prophet + -ia -ia entry 1

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The first known use of prophecy was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Prophecy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for prophecy


proph·​e·​cy | \ ˈprä-fə-sē How to pronounce prophecy (audio) \
plural prophecies

Kids Definition of prophecy

1 : something foretold : prediction
2 : the ability to predict what will happen in the future

More from Merriam-Webster on prophecy

Nglish: Translation of prophecy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of prophecy for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about prophecy


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