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 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 The orchestra’s imminent death was widely prophesied. Washington Post, "Baltimore Orchestra and others nationwide face challenges," 11 Aug. 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 The same change was prophesied by Thomas Edison, at the dawn of the movie age. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker, "Reader, I Googled It," 26 Aug. 2019 Moiriane arrives in the small town of Two Rivers and embarks on a dangerous journey with five young women and men, one of whom is prophesied to be the Dragon Reborn, who will either save or (uh-oh) destroy humanity. Eric Todisco, PEOPLE.com, "Everything to Know About Amazon's Upcoming Fantasy Series, The Wheel of Time," 14 Aug. 2019 From the heights of the hills, just as the security officer had prophesied, Futhu watched his world turn to ashes. New York Times, "The Schoolteacher and the Genocide," 8 Aug. 2019 The orchestra’s imminent death was widely prophesied. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Why is it so hard to keep an orchestra afloat? The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is not alone in its woes.," 2 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

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Prophesy.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prophesying. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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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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