transitive verb-·ured, -·ur·ing
- to suggest beforehand; be an antecedent figure or type of; foreshadow
- to picture to oneself, or imagine, beforehand
Origin of prefigureMiddle English prefiguren from Ecclesiastical Late Latin praefigurare from Classical Latin prae-, pre- + figurare, to fashion: see figure
transitive verbpre·fig·ured, pre·fig·ur·ing, pre·fig·ures
- 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.
- Archaic To imagine in advance.
Origin of prefigureMiddle 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.)
(third-person singular simple present prefigures, present participle prefiguring, simple past and past participle prefigured)
From Middle English prefiguren, from Latin praefigurare, from figurare (“to shape, picture").