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

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 Their sorcery can transfigure people and things, bestow good or bad luck, heal or hurt — or even offer protection from danger. New York Times, 10 Nov. 2021 Klagsbrun is known for paintings that flowingly interpret classical myths in which women transfigure into trees or flowers. Washington Post, 7 May 2021 For many, these numbers transfigured Covid-19 from something that might be a problem, to a near inevitability. C. Brandon Ogbunu, Wired, 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, 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, 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, 27 June 2019 The slaughter transfigured North America's waterways. Ben Goldfarb, Science | AAAS, 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,, 22 May 2018 See More

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.

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

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Cite this Entry

“Transfigure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on transfigure

Nglish: Translation of transfigure for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of transfigure for Arabic Speakers


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