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prefigure

[pree-fig-yer]
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verb (used with object), pre·fig·ured, pre·fig·ur·ing.
  1. to show or represent beforehand by a figure or type; foreshadow.
  2. to picture or represent to oneself beforehand; imagine.

Origin of prefigure

1400–50; late Middle English < Late Latin praefigūrāre. See pre-, figure (v.)
Related formspre·fig·ur·a·tive [pree-fig-yer-uh-tiv] /priˈfɪg yər ə tɪv/, adjectivepre·fig·ur·a·tive·ly, adverbpre·fig·ur·a·tive·ness, nounpre·fig·ure·ment, nounun·pre·fig·ured, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for prefigure

prefigure

verb (tr)
  1. to represent or suggest in advance
  2. to imagine or consider beforehand
Derived Formsprefigurement, noun
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

Word Origin and History for prefigure

v.

early 15c., from Late Latin praefigurare "to prefigure," from Latin prae "before" (see pre-) + figurare "to form, shape," from figura "a shape, form, figure" (see figure (n.)). Related: Prefigured; prefiguring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper