transitive verbproph·e·sized, proph·e·siz·ing, proph·e·siz·es Usage Problem
Usage Note: Perhaps owing to the longstanding confusion between the noun prophecy and the verb prophesy, there is a tendency to differentiate the verb by substituting prophesize. This follows the pattern whereby verbs are created by adding the suffix -ize to nouns (as in hybridize, meaning “to make something a hybrid”) and adjectives (as in finalize, meaning “to make something final”). Although the spelling prophesize has long been considered an error, it is becoming more common. In our 2011 survey, 40 percent of the Usage Panel found the sentence The three witches prophesize that Macbeth will become Thane of Cawdor acceptable.