[ prof-it ]
/ ˈprɒf ɪt /
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See synonyms for: prophet / prophets on Thesaurus.com

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Origin of prophet

First recorded in 1150–1200; Middle English prophete, from Late Latin prophēta, from Greek prophḗtēs, equivalent to pro- “before (in time, place, precedence, dignity)” + -phētēs “speaker,” derivative of phánai “to speak”; see also pro-2


proph·et·hood, nounproph·et·less, adjectiveproph·et·like, adjective


profit, prophet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use prophet in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for prophet (1 of 2)

/ (ˈprɒfɪt) /

a person who supposedly speaks by divine inspiration, esp one through whom a divinity expresses his willRelated adjective: vatic
a person who predicts the futurea prophet of doom
a spokesman for a movement, doctrine, etc
Christian Science
  1. a seer in spiritual matters
  2. the vanishing of material sense to give way to the conscious facts of spiritual truth

Derived forms of prophet

prophetess, fem nprophet-like, adjective

Word Origin for prophet

C13: from Old French prophète, from Latin prophēta, from Greek prophētēs one who declares the divine will, from pro- ² + phanai to speak

British Dictionary definitions for prophet (2 of 2)

/ (ˈprɒfɪt) /

noun the Prophet
the principal designation of Mohammed as the founder of Islam
a name for Joseph Smith as founder of the Mormon Church
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

Cultural definitions for prophet


Someone who brings a message from God to people. The best-known prophets are those of the Old Testament. Their most frequent themes were true worship of God, upright living, and the coming of the Messiah. They often met with bitter resistance when they spoke against the idol worship and immorality of their people. Among the prophets of the Old Testament were Daniel, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, and Moses.

Prophets also appear in the New Testament. Jesus called John the Baptist a prophet; Christians (see also Christian) consider him a bridge between the prophets of the Old Testament and those of the New Testament. Jesus mentions “true prophets” and “false prophets” — those who present the true message of God and those who present a counterfeit (see By their fruits ye shall know them and wolves in sheep's clothing). He himself was considered a prophet in his lifetime (see A prophet is not without honor save in his own country) and is still widely revered by non-Christians as a prophet, though not as the Messiah. The New Testament also mentions that some of the early Christians were prophets who spoke inspired messages to their communities.

notes for prophet

In general usage, a “prophet” is someone who can foretell the future. The prophets of the Bible (see also Bible) often made predictions, which confirmed their authority when the predictions came true, but changing the lives of their people was a more central part of their mission.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.