Prefigure meaning

prē-fĭg'yər
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.

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To imagine or picture to oneself in advance.
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To suggest beforehand; be an antecedent figure or type of; foreshadow.
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To picture to oneself, or imagine, beforehand.
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To show or suggest ahead of time; to represent beforehand (often used in a Biblical context)
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Origin of prefigure

  • Middle English prefiguren from Old French prefigurer from Late Latin praefigūrāre Latin prae- pre- Latin figūrāre to shape (from figūra shape dheigh- in Indo-European roots)
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From Middle English prefiguren, from Latin praefigurare, from figurare (“to shape, picture").
    From Wiktionary