proph·​et ˈprä-fət How to pronounce prophet (audio)
: one who utters divinely inspired revelations: such as
often capitalized : the writer of one of the prophetic books of the Bible
capitalized : one regarded by a group of followers as the final authoritative revealer of God's will
Muhammad, the Prophet of Allah
: one gifted with more than ordinary spiritual and moral insight
especially : an inspired poet
: one who foretells future events : predictor
: an effective or leading spokesman for a cause, doctrine, or group
Christian Science
: a spiritual seer
: disappearance of material sense before the conscious facts of spiritual Truth
prophethood noun

Examples of prophet in a Sentence

the words of the prophet an economist who is regarded by many as a reliable prophet of future developments in the global economy
Recent Examples on the Web In the summer of 1929 a few prophets foresaw the coming stock market crash. Harold Van B. Cleveland, Foreign Affairs, 7 Nov. 2023 For obsessives, such as the music writer Lester Bangs, Reed was half prophet, half clown. Ian Penman, The New Yorker, 16 Oct. 2023 This makes his predictions sound like the stuff of a madman or a prophet. David Kushner, Rolling Stone, 4 Sep. 2023 The same man who once earnestly referred to himself as a prophet is now paralyzed by his inability to either have or act on any firm conviction; the veneer of his certainty in his own power has been stripped away. Iva Dixit, New York Times, 19 Sep. 2023 And oh, Allah, please send peace to our prophet, the master of the worlds. NBC News, 13 Sep. 2023 Successive expulsions and exiles forced the Jewish poets and prophets, like Red Sox fans of yore, to imagine defeat as a virtue, dispossession as a gift, failure today as a promise of victory tomorrow. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 21 Aug. 2023 And lo and behold, new life was breathed into Allende, the visionary prophet of a new order. Ariel Dorfman, The New York Review of Books, 31 Aug. 2023 Some dismissed his speech as a misinformed rant, noting that the biblical figure Daniel is also revered as a prophet by Muslims. Nadeen Ebrahim, CNN, 19 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prophet.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English prophete, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin prophēta "spokesman or interpreter of a god" (Late Latin also prophētēs "revealer of God's will, foreteller of future events"), borrowed from Greek prophḗtēs "one who interprets the will of a god to humans, interpreter," (Septuagint) "revealer of God's will," (New Testament) "inspired preacher and teacher, foreteller of future events," from pro- pro- entry 1 + phē-, stem of phēmí, phánai "to speak, say" + -tēs, agent suffix — more at ban entry 1

Note: A few attestations in late Old English, apparently declined as a weak noun, are directly from Latin.

First Known Use

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of prophet was in the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near prophet

Cite this Entry

“Prophet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


proph·​et ˈpräf-ət How to pronounce prophet (audio)
: one who declares publicly a message that one believes has come from God or a god
: one who foretells future events

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