[ pree-fig-yer ]
See synonyms for prefigure on
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.

Origin of prefigure

1400–50; late Middle English <Late Latin praefigūrāre.See pre-, figure (v.)

Other words from prefigure

  • pre·fig·ur·a·tive [pree-fig-yer-uh-tiv], /priˈfɪg yər ə tɪv/, adjective
  • pre·fig·ur·a·tive·ly, adverb
  • pre·fig·ur·a·tive·ness, noun
  • pre·fig·ure·ment, noun
  • un·pre·fig·ured, adjective

Words Nearby prefigure Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use prefigure in a sentence

  • May it faintly prefigure the unending blackness of that eternal night you have chosen as your future portion.

    Ellen Walton | Alvin Addison

British Dictionary definitions for prefigure


/ (priːˈfɪɡə) /

  1. to represent or suggest in advance

  2. to imagine or consider beforehand

Derived forms of prefigure

  • prefigurement, 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