Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act of representing, suggesting, or imagining in advance.
  • noun Something that prefigures; a foreshadowing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of prefiguring, or the state of being prefigured; antecedent representation by similitude.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of prefiguring, or the state of being prefigured.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A vague advance representation or suggestion of something.
  • noun Something that prefigures.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the act of providing vague advance indications; representing beforehand
  • noun an example that prefigures or foreshadows what is to come

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin praefigurationem, nominative form of praefiguratio.

Examples

  • I did, however, share a plane with Aaron Eckhart, and even though he's not exactly a superstar (at least not yet), the hard-working actor proved a fitting prefiguration to my trip.

    Morris Ruskin: My Toronto Film Festival

  • From this, and from the many groans and sighs that are reported of the boy (who still struggled to keep reading, an activity feared and despised by his father, as it was by the owner of Frederick Douglass), we receive a prefiguration of the politician who declared in 1856, “I used to be a slave.”

    Lincoln’s Emancipation

  • The ginger-haired baby Elizabeth is mainly a squalling infant in the period of the narrative, which chiefly covers the years 1527 – 35, but in the figure of her sibling Mary, one is given a chilling prefiguration of the coming time when the bonfires of English heretics will really start to blaze in earnest.

    The Men Who Made England

  • From this, and from the many groans and sighs that are reported of the boy (who still struggled to keep reading, an activity feared and despised by his father, as it was by the owner of Frederick Douglass), we receive a prefiguration of the politician who declared in 1856, “I used to be a slave.”

    Lincoln’s Emancipation

  • Benedict XVI continued, saying that from the cross, Jesus sees his Mother and the beloved apostle, a very important individual, but more important he is a prefiguration of all loved people, all the disciples and especially all priests.

    Liturgy

  • Benedict XVI continued, saying that from the cross, Jesus sees his Mother and the beloved apostle, a very important individual, but more important he is a prefiguration of all loved people, all the disciples and especially all priests.

    The Papacy

  • The ginger-haired baby Elizabeth is mainly a squalling infant in the period of the narrative, which chiefly covers the years 1527 – 35, but in the figure of her sibling Mary, one is given a chilling prefiguration of the coming time when the bonfires of English heretics will really start to blaze in earnest.

    The Men Who Made England

  • And here, too, is a prefiguration of Barack Obama, who made his career by insisting that there are no red states and blue states, only the United States.

    ‘On Whitman’: The Real American

  • Much like Pentecostalism is for Christianity, Islamism is a way station, a prefiguration of things to come.

    Michael Vlahos: America: Enemy of Change, Midwife of the Future

  • It was the prefiguration, the signpost up ahead that Rome had already fallen.

    Michael Vlahos: America: Enemy of Change, Midwife of the Future

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.