trans·​fig·​ure | \ tran(t)s-ˈfi-gyər How to pronounce transfigure (audio) , especially British -ˈfi-gə \
transfigured; transfiguring

Definition of transfigure

transitive verb

: to give a new and typically exalted or spiritual appearance to : transform outwardly and usually for the better

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Choose the Right Synonym for transfigure

transform, metamorphose, transmute, convert, transmogrify, transfigure mean to change a thing into a different thing. transform implies a major change in form, nature, or function. transformed a small company into a corporate giant metamorphose suggests an abrupt or startling change induced by or as if by magic or a supernatural power. awkward girls metamorphosed into graceful ballerinas transmute implies transforming into a higher element or thing. attempted to transmute lead into gold convert implies a change fitting something for a new or different use or function. converted the study into a nursery transmogrify suggests a strange or preposterous metamorphosis. a story in which a frog is transmogrified into a prince transfigure implies a change that exalts or glorifies. joy transfigured her face

Examples of transfigure in a Sentence

Her face seemed transfigured by happiness. married life has seemingly transfigured his formerly aimless existence
Recent Examples on the Web For many, these numbers transfigured Covid-19 from something that might be a problem, to a near inevitability. C. Brandon Ogbunu, Wired, "How Social Distancing Became Social Justice," 18 Mar. 2020 Always the black angel asleep on my lips, always The dove’s moan in the mimosa tree, The blue faces of the twice transfiguredclosing their stone eyes. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker, "The Many Voices of Charles Wright," 4 Nov. 2019 Discovering the particular genre conventions that Obreht has chosen to transfigure or to uphold soon becomes central to the novel’s propulsive appeal. Francisco Cantú, The New Yorker, "Téa Obreht Reimagines the Western," 12 Aug. 2019 Its story, about a fiery Scottish lass whose desire to fight and hunt like her father inadvertently leads her mother to be cursed and transfigured into a bear, is as interesting as the studio’s best. Allegra Frank, Vox, "All 21 Pixar movies, definitively ranked," 27 June 2019 The slaughter transfigured North America's waterways. Ben Goldfarb, Science | AAAS, "Beaver dams without beavers? Artificial logjams are a popular but controversial restoration tool," 7 June 2018 Yet unlike other Chameleon programs, this one took as its thematic subject the very idea of a historical sense, of composers turning to older vessels, filling them with new wine, and transfiguring them altogether in the process. Jeremy Eichler,, "Passing the two-decade mark, Chameleon forges ahead with music looking back," 22 May 2018 At no point in that process was Scott Kelly zapped by an alien laser beam, attacked by a xenomorph or otherwise transfigured into a previously unknown mutant variety of human. Sarah Kaplan,, "The truth about astronaut Scott Kelly's 'space genes'," 16 Mar. 2018 At no point in that process was Scott Kelly zapped by an alien laser beam, attacked by a xenomorph or otherwise transfigured into a previously unknown mutant variety of human. Sarah Kaplan, Houston Chronicle, "The truth about astronaut Scott Kelly's viral 'space genes'," 16 Mar. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for transfigure

Middle English, from Anglo-French transfigurer, from Latin transfigurare, from trans- + figurare to shape, fashion, from figura figure

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Time Traveler for transfigure

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Transfigure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of transfigure

literary : to change the appearance of (something or someone)

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