[trans-fig-yer or, esp. British, -fig-er]

verb (used with object), trans·fig·ured, trans·fig·ur·ing.

to change in outward form or appearance; transform.
to change so as to glorify or exalt.

Origin of transfigure

1250–1300; Middle English transfiguren < Latin trānsfigūrāre to change in shape. See trans-, figure
Related formstrans·fig·ure·ment, nounun·trans·fig·ured, adjective

Synonyms for transfigure Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for transfigure

Contemporary Examples of transfigure

Historical Examples of transfigure

  • He looked taller, his face shone with a serenity that seemed to transfigure him.

  • Then amazed recognition, love, happiness, transfigure her face.


    Edward Bellamy

  • It is here to transfigure all; we must accept with it the merer things it glorifies.

    Browning's Heroines

    Ethel Colburn Mayne

  • She believes in her power to renew and transfigure them, to achieve in them a moral miracle.

    Lux Mundi


  • You must have the imagination of a poet to transfigure them.

British Dictionary definitions for transfigure


verb (usually tr)

to change or cause to change in appearance
to become or cause to become more exalted
Derived Formstransfigurement, noun

Word Origin for transfigure

C13: from Latin transfigūrāre, from trans- + figūra appearance
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 transfigure

c.1300, from Old French transfigurer (12c.), from Latin transfigurare "change the shape of," from trans- "across" (see trans-) + figurare "to form, fashion," from figura "to form, shape," from figura "a shape, form, figure" (see figure (n.)). Related: Transfigured; transfiguring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper