prophesy

verb
proph·​e·​sy | \ ˈprä-fə-ˌsī How to pronounce prophesy (audio) \
prophesied; prophesying

Definition of prophesy

transitive verb

1 : to utter by or as if by divine inspiration
2 : to predict with assurance or on the basis of mystic knowledge

intransitive verb

1 : to speak as if divinely inspired
2 : to give instruction in religious matters : preach
3 : to make a prediction

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Other Words from prophesy

prophesier \ ˈprä-​fə-​ˌsī(-​ə)r How to pronounce prophesier (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for prophesy

foretell, predict, forecast, prophesy, prognosticate mean to tell beforehand. foretell applies to the telling of the coming of a future event by any procedure or any source of information. seers foretold the calamity predict commonly implies inference from facts or accepted laws of nature. astronomers predicted an eclipse forecast adds the implication of anticipating eventualities and differs from predict in being usually concerned with probabilities rather than certainties. forecast snow prophesy connotes inspired or mystic knowledge of the future especially as the fulfilling of divine threats or promises. prophesying a new messiah prognosticate is used less often than the other words; it may suggest learned or skilled interpretation, but more often it is simply a colorful substitute for predict or prophesy. prognosticating the future

Examples of prophesy in a Sentence

The book claims that modern events were prophesied in ancient times. holy men were prophesying the coming of a new messiah
Recent Examples on the Web In the years before the virus, critics began to prophesy that a handful of tech companies would soon grow more powerful than the government. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "Big Tech’s Pandemic Power Grab," 12 June 2020 Kierkegaard was the youngest of seven children; his father had prophesied that none of his children would survive past 33, Jesus’ age at crucifixion, and all but Kierkegaard and one brother were to die young. Parul Sehgal, New York Times, "The Life of a Philosopher for Whom Life Was the Main Question," 28 Apr. 2020 In 2002 futurist Jeremy Rifkin’s book The Hydrogen Economy prophesied that the gas would catalyze a new industrial revolution. Peter Fairley, Scientific American, "Solar and Wind Power Could Ignite a Hydrogen Energy Comeback," 1 Feb. 2020 The dominant push toward proper clothes was clearest at Louis Vuitton, which has become a catalyst for trends under its hype-maker/men’s artistic director Virgil Abloh, who recently prophesied streetwear’s decline. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "The Best—and Weirdest—Men’s Trends From the Fall Shows," 24 Jan. 2020 Early in the Gospel of John, the soon-to-be apostle Philip searches out one Nathanael to share momentous news: The Christ prophesied in the Scriptures has been found, a man named Jesus from Nazareth. Stephen Mirarchi, National Review, "A Trove of Letters from Flannery O’Connor and Friends," 28 Dec. 2019 That footage was shot in 1980, shortly after Ellison had prophesied apocalypse. Matt Farwell, The New Republic, "The Forgotten Christian Terror Cult That Presaged Trump’s Memes," 22 Oct. 2019 But despite the end-times prophesying, Gorka had captured a few grains of reality. Mattathias Schwartz, New York Times, "When Trump’s Sidekicks Treat Politics Like an Action Movie," 24 July 2019 The orchestra’s imminent death was widely prophesied. Washington Post, "Baltimore Orchestra and others nationwide face challenges," 11 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prophesy.' 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 prophesy

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for prophesy

Middle English prophesien, from Anglo-French *prophecier, from Old French, from prophecie

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Learn More about prophesy

Time Traveler for prophesy

Time Traveler

The first known use of prophesy was in the 14th century

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Statistics for prophesy

Last Updated

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Prophesy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prophesy. Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for prophesy

prophesy

verb
How to pronounce prophesy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of prophesy

: to state that something will happen in the future

prophesy

verb
proph·​e·​sy | \ ˈprä-fə-ˌsī How to pronounce prophesy (audio) \
prophesied; prophesying

Kids Definition of prophesy

: foretell, predict … every time he prophesied fair weather it rained …— Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee

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Comments on prophesy

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