Definition of envisage in English:



  • 1 Contemplate or conceive of as a possibility or a desirable future event.

    ‘the Rome Treaty envisaged free movement across frontiers’
    • ‘He explained that he envisages himself working there for the next 25 years.’
    • ‘Neither the safety regulations nor risk factor calculations had envisaged the possibility of this type of accident.’
    • ‘Ninety per cent of the 162 submissions opposed the nationwide introduction of e-voting as currently envisaged.’
    • ‘Indeed it is envisaged that in the future it could also be used for clinics by consultants.’
    • ‘The issue is envisaged in the 2002 budget.’
    • ‘Two of the 15 constitutional drafts envisaged the establishment of a national ombudsman as a constitutional institution.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, he said that the project is envisaged to be a success.’
    • ‘The plan also envisages the creation of a trading company which would covenant all profits back to the parent company.’
    • ‘The scheme envisages a new bus station, shops and 100 homes, with some leisure and offices.’
    • ‘She envisaged a future where borders between the two countries would become irrelevant.’
    • ‘Another idea envisages the creation of a national investment fund under the supervision of the regional development ministry.’
    • ‘Overall, the day was great success and it is envisaged that similar events will be held in the future.’
    • ‘I didn't envisage this would be a problem, but I was wrong.’
    • ‘The plan also envisages the establishment of eight district councils working under the Provisional Council.’
    • ‘The work was divided into five stages but the proposal envisaged continuous, uninterrupted progression of the project.’
    • ‘The document envisages the creation of 240 000 jobs to permanently reduce unemployment to below 10 per cent.’
    • ‘We got it far more wrong than we ever envisaged at the time.’
    • ‘I do not pretend to be able to envisage all the various possibilities.’
    • ‘The parliament's planners originally envisaged that the specialist glazing would cost £1.8m.’
    • ‘Nobody can know what kind of world will result from the interplay of these forces, but it is possible to envisage plausible futures.’
    imagine, contemplate, visualize, envision, picture, see in one's mind's eye
    foresee, predict, forecast, foretell, anticipate, expect, think likely, envision
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Form a mental picture of (something not yet existing or known)
      ‘he knew what he liked but had difficulty envisaging it’
      • ‘With a user base of over one million people, it is difficult to envisage a way in which this difficulty can be overcome.’
      • ‘He should have envisaged what would happen to him after insulting her sister.’
      • ‘Living the student lifestyle, it becomes difficult to envisage yourself in a ‘normal’ routine.’
      • ‘She would then envisage what the desired final print should look like and expose the negative accordingly.’
      • ‘I have difficulty really envisaging how that could have happened.’
      • ‘In most of the tapestries that we see in museums or country houses the dyes have faded badly and it is difficult to envisage the impact they had when first hung.’
      • ‘Regardless of the outcome, it is difficult to envisage the resumption of business as usual afterwards.’
      • ‘If this is so, it is difficult not to envisage the death-rate substantially increasing.’
      • ‘In these circumstances it is difficult to envisage anyone using their law or medical degree for benevolent reasons.’
      • ‘A large, whitewashed house just yards from a white beach and a little stone harbour, it is difficult to envisage a more perfect location.’
      • ‘Frankly, it's difficult to envisage him being nearly as influential in any role other than that of the focal point of the attack.’


Early 19th century: from French envisager, from en- in + visage face.