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Partly from prophecy, and partly from Middle French prophecier, prophesier, from prophecie (prophecy).



prophesy (third-person singular simple present prophesies, present participle prophesying, simple past and past participle prophesied)

  1. To speak or write with divine inspiration; to act as prophet. [from 14th c.]
  2. To predict, to foretell. [from 14th c.]
    • Bible, 1 Kings xxii. 8
      He doth not prophesy good concerning me.
    • Shakespeare
      Then I perceive that will be verified / Henry the Fifth did sometime prophesy.
    • 1982, Lawrence Durrell, Constance, Faber & Faber 2004 (Avignon Quintet), p. 745:
      ‘It has been prophesied more than once that he will find it.’
  3. To foreshow; to herald; to prefigure.
    • Shakespeare
      Methought thy very gait did prophesy / A royal nobleness; I must embrace thee.
  4. (intransitive, Christianity) To speak out on the Bible as an expression of holy inspiration; to preach. [from 14th c.]

Related terms[edit]