proph·​e·​cy | \ˈprä-fə-sē \
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

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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

Many Twitter users decided that Saga obviously fulfilled some kind of prophecy, which definitely makes her queen...or at least prime minister, right? De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "8-Year-Old Girl Pulls Ancient Sword From a Lake in Sweden," 6 Oct. 2018 On its eastern edge are the Sibillini Mountains, named for the Appenine Sibyl—a legendary oracle who lived in a cave there and dispensed prophecies to medieval travelers. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Italian Pine Forest Is Shaped Exactly Like...Italy," 1 Oct. 2018 The commission wants to avoid taking an action that will make closure a self-fulfilling prophecy. Laura Krantz,, "Mount Ida’s struggles included deficit, low graduation rate," 2 May 2018 That claim turned out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Nabih Bulos, The Seattle Times, "Seventeen years after Sept. 11, al-Qaida may be stronger than ever," 10 Sep. 2018 Cormier fulfilled the prophecy at UFC 226, knocking down Miocic with a right hand to the jaw in the final minute of the first round, then pounding Miocic’s face with two more punches on the canvas to finish him. Lance Pugmire,, "Daniel Cormier knocks out Stipe Miocic in first round for second belt at UFC 226," 8 July 2018 The marketing gurus had cause for rejoice — at long last, the 22-year-old Jones had fulfilled their prophecy. Brendan Marks, charlotteobserver, "NASCAR: A win by the young guns is nice. But the next winner likely will be ...," 11 July 2018 The biggest name in Planet X circles is David Meade, whose prediction that Planet X would pass Earth late last year, based on Bible prophecies, kicked off a wave of doomsday theories. Avi Selk, Washington Post, "Just kill us already, Planet X," 13 Apr. 2018 There’s undoubtedly an element of self-fulfilling prophecy to any set of characteristics ascribed to birth order, much as there is to, say, those linked to astrological signs. Adam Sternbergh, The Cut, "The Extinction of the Middle Child," 11 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of prophecy

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for prophecy

Middle English prophecie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin prophetia, from Greek prophēteia, from prophētēs prophet

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Statistics for prophecy

Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prophecy

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

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More Definitions for prophecy



English Language Learners Definition of prophecy

: a statement that something will happen in the future

: the power or ability to know what will happen in the future


proph·​e·​cy | \ˈprä-fə-sē \
plural prophecies

Kids Definition of prophecy

1 : something foretold : prediction

2 : the ability to predict what will happen in the future

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Comments on prophecy

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


living or existing for a long time

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