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[en-viz-ij] /ɛnˈvɪz ɪdʒ/
verb (used with object), envisaged, envisaging.
to contemplate; visualize:
He envisages an era of great scientific discoveries.
Archaic. to look in the face of; face.
Origin of envisage
From the French word envisager, dating back to 1810-20. See en-1, visage
Related forms
envisagement, noun
1. picture, imagine, conceive, envision. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for envisaging
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This was the refuge he kept locked, using the expression and envisaging it.

    If Winter Comes A.S.M. Hutchinson
  • A stern way of envisaging the world: but it gives not only security against the gods, but also resignation and tranquillity.

  • The fallacy of such arguments lies in envisaging the large problem of East and West from its partial expression.

  • Life was no longer boring, he was envisaging everything from a new point of view, he had no longer any ambition.

  • And then one of the towers flashed on a sub-ray—the dull infra-red for envisaging the slow rays below the power of human sight.

    Tarrano the Conqueror Raymond King Cummings
  • And our bias renders us perhaps equally incapable of envisaging the mind of the enemy.

  • "Or—" Cassandra began, but checked herself from the liberty of envisaging Katharine as the widow of a distinguished lawyer.

    Night and Day Virginia Woolf
  • He was envisaging the days which were now bound to come with a peculiar sense of tension.

    The Road to the Open Arthur Schnitzler
  • But, as for Mr. Senhouse himself, at this time of envisaging of ways I don't believe that he entered her head.

    Rest Harrow Maurice Hewlett
British Dictionary definitions for envisaging


verb (transitive)
to form a mental image of; visualize; contemplate
to conceive of as a possibility in the future; foresee
(archaic) to look in the face of; confront
Derived Forms
envisagement, noun
Usage note
It was formerly considered incorrect to use a clause after envisage as in it is envisaged that the new centre will cost £40 million, but this use is now acceptable
Word Origin
C19: from French envisager, from en-1 + visage face, visage
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for envisaging



1778, from French envisager "look in the face of," from en- "cause to" (see en- (1)) + visage "face" (see visage). Related: Envisaged; envisaging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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