"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[pree-fig-yer] /priˈfɪg yər/
verb (used with object), prefigured, prefiguring.
to show or represent beforehand by a figure or type; foreshadow.
to picture or represent to oneself beforehand; imagine.
Origin of prefigure
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Late Latin praefigūrāre. See pre-, figure (v.)
Related forms
[pree-fig-yer-uh-tiv] /priˈfɪg yər ə tɪv/ (Show IPA),
prefiguratively, adverb
prefigurativeness, noun
prefigurement, noun
unprefigured, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for prefigure
  • Further, a release of the photos probably does not prefigure their display on cereal boxes.
  • But it did more than prefigure many similar actions almost two decades later.
  • But the rating agencies have lost several skirmishes in court that could prefigure disaster for them.
  • Many of his stories prefigure the genres of science fiction, horror, and fantasy so popular today.
British Dictionary definitions for prefigure


verb (transitive)
to represent or suggest in advance
to imagine or consider beforehand
Derived Forms
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
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Word Origin and History for prefigure

early 15c., from Late Latin praefigurare "to prefigure," from Latin prae "before" (see pre-) + figurare "to form, shape," from figura "a shape, form, figure" (see figure (n.)). Related: Prefigured; prefiguring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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