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See more synonyms for prefigure on Thesaurus.com
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.
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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

Related Words for prefigure

foreshadow, typify, foretell, presage, suggest, adumbrate, indicate, imagine, symbolize, type

Examples from the Web for prefigure

Contemporary Examples of prefigure

Historical Examples of prefigure

British Dictionary definitions for prefigure


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


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper