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

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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 The proteus effect is a sort of psychological self-fulfilling prophecy. Washington Post, "How video games can help LGBTQ+ players feel like themselves," 23 Mar. 2021 The importance of all three together seemed more of a prophecy than a reality when it was written. Benjamin Laker, Forbes, "How To Lead Sustainability Initiatives In 2021," 18 Mar. 2021 The villagers long hope that Philip would visit the island, fulfilling the final prophecy. Washington Post, "How Prince Philip came to be worshipped on a remote South Pacific island," 12 Apr. 2021 Picard will fulfill that prophecy from 27 years ago. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, "Flashback: Captain Picard Meets Q on ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’," 6 Apr. 2021 Students of conspiracy theories point out that not every QAnon follower believes the March 4th prophecy and, besides, QAnon has a history of moving goal posts when one hyped date doesn’t deliver. Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, Forbes, "Travel Snapshot: QAnon’s March 4 Threat Has Washington, D.C. On High Alert," 4 Mar. 2021 Bank runs are triggered by a self-fulfilling prophecy in which depositors pull their money for fear that others will do the same. Jon Hartley, National Review, "Treat Money-Market Funds Like Banks," 30 Mar. 2021 As America becomes woke, his scholarly critiques read like prophecy. J. Peder Zane, WSJ, "Science Needs Criticism, Not Cheerleading," 19 Feb. 2021 Figure out how to deal with your insecurities, through therapy or self-acceptance/self-compassion work, or your paranoia of him leaving will become a self-fulfilling prophecy., "My boyfriend ‘likes’ many pictures of women in bikinis," 25 Mar. 2021

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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Learn More about prophecy

Time Traveler for prophecy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for prophecy

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prophecy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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 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

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