Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal.


tr.v. pre·fig·ured, pre·fig·ur·ing, pre·fig·ures
1. To suggest, indicate, or represent by an antecedent form or model; presage or foreshadow: The paintings of Paul Cézanne prefigured the rise of cubism in the early 1900s.
2. Archaic To imagine in advance.

[Middle English prefiguren, from Old French prefigurer, from Late Latin praefigūrāre : Latin prae-, pre- + Latin figūrāre, to shape (from figūra, shape; see dheigh- in Indo-European roots).]

pre·fig′ur·a·tive (-fĭg′yər-ə-tĭv) adj.
pre·fig′ur·a·tive·ly adv.
pre·fig′ure·ment n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:


A phenomenon that serves as a sign or warning of some future good or evil:
Idiom: writing on the wall.
References in periodicals archive ?
In Savonarola's Good Friday vision a black cross "Crux Irae Dei" rose above Rome, and a golden cross "Crux Misericordiae Dei" rose above Jerusalem and all the nations flocked to adore it, a curious prefigurement of the modern Divine Mercy devotion which starts on Good Friday.
40) In both examples, Goff illustrates how the study of Latin and the Classics at school was associated with the kinds of moral values admired by the African middle classes, which shaped the backgrounds of these nationalist leaders: discipline, hard work, rationality, control and perhaps, most importantly, a hierarchical form of masculinity, (41) which was performed in the school community, a prefigurement of the incipient nation (pp.
Even the experience of Jonah in the belly of the whale is seen as a prefigurement of the mission and role of Jesus, especially his period in the tomb before the resurrection.
Rather, Esco, a "dipped Baptist" (45) with animistic pagan affinities, is an early prefigurement of the author's own ecumenical vision of a life on Cold Mountain fitted to the cosmic cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.
prefigurement of what is to come, Darnay's own situation and behavior point to not only his desire for Lucie but also how his desire is grounded in mimesis.
The article develops the argument that Jonah is understood in the New Testament as a prefigurement of Christ as Judge at the Last Judgment.
Violent and macabre imagery is utilized to describe a near-fatal accident in which--in explicit prefigurement of Gabriel's death, and Portia's moribund enthrallment to him--the cemetery gates fell on Gabriel, rendering both Portia and himself unconscious for a week.
The article proposes that by such means and through its prefigurement of what Frank Kermode identifies in the work of modernists as the 'Romantic Image' Aylwin reveals the lines of a Romantic genealogy that extends from Coleridge through Rossetti to writers such as Yeats, demonstrating the hidden continuity between Romantic and late Victorian literature and mapping the crucial transition from late Victorian literature to literary modernism.