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[trans-fig-yer or, esp. British, -fig-er] /trænsˈfɪg yər or, esp. British, -ˈfɪg ər/
verb (used with object), transfigured, transfiguring.
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 forms
transfigurement, noun
untransfigured, adjective
1. transmute, renew. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for transfigure
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The uprolled clouds and the colors of morning and evening, will transfigure maples and alders.

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

    Browning's Heroines Ethel Colburn Mayne
  • Then amazed recognition, love, happiness, transfigure her face.

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

    The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • She looked up with that quick smile which seemed to transfigure her into something a little more than mortal.

    The Firing Line Robert W. Chambers
  • He could not transfigure the dull and commonplace heads he was to copy.

  • To some of us those memories have a savour so sharp that, with the wind, one might catch and transfigure it in words.

  • For she saw a flame illumine Luttrell's face and transfigure him.

    The Summons A.E.W. Mason
  • But Mrs. Ascher's feelings were strong enough to transfigure even her clothes.

    Gossamer George A. Birmingham
British Dictionary definitions for transfigure


verb (usually transitive)
to change or cause to change in appearance
to become or cause to become more exalted
Derived Forms
transfigurement, noun
Word Origin
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
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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
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