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[trans-fig-yer or, esp. British, -fig-er] /trænsˈfɪg yər or, esp. British, -ˈfɪg ər/
verb (used with object), transfigured, transfiguring.
to change in outward form or appearance; transform.
to change so as to glorify or exalt.
Origin of transfigure
1250-1300; Middle English transfiguren < Latin trānsfigūrāre to change in shape. See trans-, figure
Related forms
transfigurement, noun
untransfigured, adjective
1. transmute, renew. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for transfigure
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He looked taller, his face shone with a serenity that seemed to transfigure him.

  • Then amazed recognition, love, happiness, transfigure her face.

    Lost Edward Bellamy
  • It is here to transfigure all; we must accept with it the merer things it glorifies.

    Browning's Heroines Ethel Colburn Mayne
  • She believes in her power to renew and transfigure them, to achieve in them a moral miracle.

    Lux Mundi Various
  • You must have the imagination of a poet to transfigure them.

    The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • Let her transfigure the hour of disaster into the hour of deeper consecration.

    The Whole Armour of God John Henry Jowett
  • He could not transfigure the dull and commonplace heads he was to copy.

  • The soul in him never awoke, so as to transfigure his thoughts and purposes.

    Sermons at Rugby John Percival
  • For she saw a flame illumine Luttrell's face and transfigure him.

    The Summons A.E.W. Mason
British Dictionary definitions for transfigure


verb (usually transitive)
to change or cause to change in appearance
to become or cause to become more exalted
Derived Forms
transfigurement, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Latin transfigūrāre, from trans- + figūra appearance
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 transfigure

c.1300, from Old French transfigurer (12c.), from Latin transfigurare "change the shape of," from trans- "across" (see trans-) + figurare "to form, fashion," from figura "to form, shape," from figura "a shape, form, figure" (see figure (n.)). Related: Transfigured; transfiguring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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