trans·​fig·​u·​ra·​tion | \ (ˌ)tran(t)s-ˌfi-gyə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce transfiguration (audio) , -gə-\

Definition of transfiguration

1a : a change in form or appearance : metamorphosis
b : an exalting, glorifying, or spiritual change
2 capitalized : a Christian feast that commemorates the transfiguration of Christ on a mountaintop in the presence of three disciples and that is observed on August 6 in the Roman Catholic and some Eastern churches and on the Sunday before Lent in most Protestant churches

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Did You Know?

The Gospels relate that one day Jesus took three disciples up a mountain, where they witnessed his transfiguration into divine form: his face shone like the sun, his garments became brilliantly white, and a voice from heaven proclaimed that this was the son of God. Transfiguration was first used in English as the name of this biblical event, and the Feast of the Transfiguration remains the name of a holy day. So the word has always kept a somewhat religious—and almost always positive—tone. A face may be transfigured by joy, and an "ugly duckling" may be slowly transfigured into a radiant beauty. And as Harry Potter fans know, transfiguration is a subject long taught at the Hogwarts School by Minerva McGonagall.

Examples of transfiguration in a Sentence

after his transfiguration into a Buddhist monk, all his family and friends were amazed by his newly found patience and tranquillity

Recent Examples on the Web

While there is great beauty in the chiaroscuro interplay between his expressionistic dissonances and Renaissance-style harmonies, his works never build toward resolution or transfiguration. New York Times, "Cancer Haunts a Composer’s Life and Work," 3 June 2018 However, The Crimes of Grindelwald takes place in 1927 when Dumbledore—who is played by Jude Law in the movie—was still Hogwarts’ transfiguration professor and not yet its headmaster, meaning the school may have been bound by different magical laws. Time, "Harry Potter Fans in Uproar Over a Fantastic Beasts Plot Hole," 14 Mar. 2018 There’s been no word yet about whether the plans for Jeffries’ transfiguration were generated before or after Bowie’s death, or whether Bowie knew about them. Winston Cook-wilson, Billboard, "Before He Died, David Bowie Gave Permission For His 'Twin Peaks' Character to Return," 11 Sep. 2017 On high, God the father points to Jesus, who points to Moses and Elijah, and at whose feet sit the three apostles overwhelmed by his transfiguration into light. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, "‘Cristóbal de Villalpando: Mexican Painter of the Baroque’ Review: Painting the Bible in New Spain," 29 July 2017 A world without Roe is a world where the fate of a woman’s body — its red fleshy insides, its tubes and its fluids, its unruly growths and wild transfigurations — is decided upon by cabals of men in the cold, marble halls of statehouses. Joanna Petrone, Longreads, "Pregnant, then Ruptured," 18 Aug. 2017 Don’t forget, Sagittarius, sometimes the right path is the difficult path, and by the middle of the week, you be forced to choose between transfiguration and stability. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What This Week's Horoscope Means for You," 14 Aug. 2017 The film will feature the young wizard and future Hogwarts headmaster as a transfiguration professor with a crush on his friend—and future enemy—Gellert Grindewald, portrayed by Johnny Depp. Chanel Vargas, Cosmopolitan, "These Celebrity Tryouts Prove "Teen Dumbledore" Is the Movie We All Need Right Now," 24 July 2017 Having evaded wretchedness, the gay young man making up his shining life in the city is one of civilization’s wonders, and Édouard Louis is a new, inspiring real-life example of such transfiguration. Special To The Washington Post, The Denver Post, "“The End of Eddy” marks the beginning of a powerful writer’s career," 11 May 2017

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

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

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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with transfiguration

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for transfiguration

Britannica English: Translation of transfiguration for Arabic Speakers

Comments on transfiguration

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to mark by some ceremony or observation

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