[ pree-fig-yuh-rey-shuh n, pree-fig- ]
/ priˌfɪg yəˈreɪ ʃən, ˌpri fɪg- /


the act of prefiguring.
that in which something is prefigured.

Origin of prefiguration

1350–1400; Middle English prefiguracioun < Late Latin praefigūrātiōn- (stem of praefigūrātiō), equivalent to praefigūrāt(us) (past participle of praefigūrāre to prefigure) + -iōn- -ion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prefiguration

  • "This prefiguration of the Word by Noah is certainly curious," remarked Durtal.

    The Cathedral|Joris-Karl Huysmans
  • The very resolution of those “splashes of colour” into faces is the prefiguration of the modern conception of form.

British Dictionary definitions for prefiguration


/ (ˌpriːfɪɡəˈreɪʃən) /


the act of prefiguring
something that prefigures, such as a prototype
Derived Formsprefigurative, adjectiveprefiguratively, adverbprefigurativeness, 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 prefiguration



late 14c., from Late Latin praefigurationem (nominative praefiguratio), noun of action from past participle stem of praefigurare "to prefigure" (see prefigure).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper