verb (used with object), en·vis·aged, en·vis·ag·ing.

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 formsen·vis·age·ment, noun

Synonyms for envisage

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for envisaging

Contemporary Examples of envisaging

Historical Examples of envisaging

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for envisaging


verb (tr)

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 Formsenvisagement, noun

Word Origin for envisage

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 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