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[en-viz-ij] /ɛnˈvɪz ɪdʒ/
verb (used with object), envisaged, envisaging.
to contemplate; visualize:
He envisages an era of great scientific discoveries.
Archaic. to look in the face of; face.
Origin of envisage
1810-20; < French envisager. See en-1, visage
Related forms
envisagement, noun
1. picture, imagine, conceive, envision. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for envisage
  • In time, however, its leaders envisage full nationhood.
  • Try as one might, this perfect, antiseptic world some people envisage is unattainable.
  • The missile-defence scheme remains in its infancy, and is likely to cost more than current plans envisage.
  • Maybe she's not quite the pioneer or paragon you envisage her to be.
  • They envisage a series of qualifying regattas, leading up to the finals, either annually or every two years.
  • Scientists envisage unmanned labs on the floor of the ocean to conduct experiments and monitor climate change.
  • It's easy for us to envisage tired workers suffering a momentary lapse of attention.
  • For the moment, he does not envisage reducing the number of overall seats, fearing it would be too controversial.
  • It is possible to envisage things other than acceleration of celestial bodies to account for redshift eg.
  • Nor did he envisage his acceptance of the deanship as a turncoat act the other way.
British Dictionary definitions for envisage


verb (transitive)
to form a mental image of; visualize; contemplate
to conceive of as a possibility in the future; foresee
(archaic) to look in the face of; confront
Derived Forms
envisagement, noun
Usage note
It was formerly considered incorrect to use a clause after envisage as in it is envisaged that the new centre will cost £40 million, but this use is now acceptable
Word Origin
C19: from French envisager, from en-1 + visage face, visage
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
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Word Origin and History for envisage

1778, from French envisager "look in the face of," from en- "cause to" (see en- (1)) + visage "face" (see visage). Related: Envisaged; envisaging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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