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verb (used with object), en·vis·aged, en·vis·ag·ing.
  1. to contemplate; visualize: He envisages an era of great scientific discoveries.
  2. Archaic. to look in the face of; face.
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Origin of envisage

From the French word envisager, dating back to 1810–20. See en-1, visage
Related formsen·vis·age·ment, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

picture, visualize, consider, confront, image, regard

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British Dictionary definitions for envisage


verb (tr)
  1. to form a mental image of; visualize; contemplate
  2. to conceive of as a possibility in the future; foresee
  3. archaic to look in the face of; confront
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Derived Formsenvisagement, noun

Word Origin

C19: from French envisager, from en- 1 + visage face, visage


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
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 envisage


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper