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From Middle English prophecie, from Old French prophetie, from Latin prophētīa, from Ancient Greek προφητεία (prophēteía, prophecy), from προφήτης (prophḗtēs, speaker of a god), from πρό (pró, before) + φημί (phēmí, I tell). Displaced native Old English wītgung.



prophecy (countable and uncountable, plural prophecies)

  1. A prediction, especially one made by a prophet or under divine inspiration.
    French writer Nostradamus made a prophecy in his book.
  2. The public interpretation of Scripture.

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prophecy (third-person singular simple present prophecies, present participle prophecying, simple past and past participle prophecied)

  1. (chiefly dated) Alternative form of prophesy
    • 1814 July, [Jane Austen], chapter III, in Mansfield Park: [], volume I, London: [] T[homas] Egerton, [], →OCLC, page 53:
      [] think of the kind pains you took to reason and persuade me out of my fears, convince me that I should like it after a little while, and feel how right you proved to be, I am inclined to hope you may always prophecy as well.
    • 1967, George King, The Five Temples Of God, The Aetherius Society (2014 edition), page 19:
      The manipulation of these tremendous beneficient energies helped the world so well that the vast majority of these prophecied catastrophies did not happen.
    • 2001, Marjorie Garber, "“ ” (Quotation Marks)", in S.I. Salamensky, Talk, Talk, Talk: The Cultural Life of Everyday Conversation, Routledge, page 142:
      One prophecied a change of fortunes for the club: []
    • 2013, Theodor Adorno, The Jargon of Authenticity, Routledge, page 135:
      The Heideggerian tone of voice is indeed prophecied in Schiller’s discussion of dignity.
    • 2014, Emran El-Badawi, The Qur'an and the Aramaic Gospel Traditions, Routledge, page 85:
      the parable in Mark 12:1—5 where some of Jesus’s followers who prophecied and were martyred in Antioch (Q 36;13—25; cf. 11:91);

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of prophecie