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 Almost from the get-go, political pundits fretted about Warren's electability, setting in motion a self-fulfilling prophecy now reflected in the New Hampshire primary results. Kathleen Walsh, TheWeek, "The sidelining of Elizabeth Warren," 12 Feb. 2020 At least one researcher thinks it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Joe Garofoli,, "So many questions remain about Democrats, and voting is about to begin," 14 Jan. 2020 To some, Booksmart’s only-okay performance at the box office in its first week was read as a self-fulfilling prophecy about the fate of all (white) female creative teams in Hollywood (see: a redux of the tiresome 2016 Ghostbusters 3 debate). Kristen Evans, The New Republic, "Booksmart Deserved Better," 5 June 2019 But the pessimism of the defeatists is still out there, and that pessimism can very well become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Shay Khatiri, TheWeek, "America is doing so much better than you think," 2 Feb. 2020 Hedge funds have placed heavy bets on volatility to stay low, and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. John Authers | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "The Unnerving Mystery of a $6.6 Trillion Dead Calm," 21 Nov. 2019 Melisandre's season three prophecy over Arya's life also came into play once again. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Daenerys' Maybe-Green Eyes on Game of Thrones Could Be Key to Her Fate," 2 May 2019 Yet Mr Trump’s divisiveness have turned this into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Economist, "Take me out of this ball game," 31 Oct. 2019 The result is an artfully compact novel with biblical resonance—a prophecy that even today readers will struggle to fully decode. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: The Great Migration North," 28 June 2019

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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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

23 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Prophecy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for prophecy


How to pronounce prophecy (audio)

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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