verb (used with object), proph·e·sied, proph·e·sy·ing.

verb (used without object), proph·e·sied, proph·e·sy·ing.

Origin of prophesy

1350–1400; Middle English; v. use of variant of prophecy (fully distinguished in form and meaning in the 18th century)
Related formsproph·e·si·a·ble, adjectiveproph·e·si·er, nounun·proph·e·sied, adjective
Can be confusedprophecy prophesy

Synonyms for prophesy

1. augur, prognosticate. See predict. 3. divine. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prophesying

Historical Examples of prophesying

  • Prophesying has always been a risky business, and will not be attempted here.

    American Men of Mind

    Burton E. Stevenson

  • I could easily fall to prophesying, myself, when all is over.

    In Convent Walls

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • Uncle Jabez had been prophesying disaster ever since she had known him.

    Ruth Fielding At College

    Alice B. Emerson

  • She stared at me as blankly as if she had not been prophesying my doom a little while ago.

  • It was the eerie singsong voice he used when he was prophesying for the tribe.


    Robert Shea

British Dictionary definitions for prophesying


verb -sies, -sying or -sied

to reveal or foretell (something, esp a future event) by or as if by divine inspiration
(intr) archaic to give instruction in religious subjects
Derived Formsprophesiable, adjectiveprophesier, noun

Word Origin for prophesy

C14 prophecien, from prophecy
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 prophesying



mid-14c., prophecein, prophesein, from Old French prophecier (13c.), from prophecie (see prophecy). The noun and verb spellings were not fully differentiated until 18c. Related: Prophesied; prophesying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper