Definition of transfiguration in English:



  • 1A complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state.

    ‘in this light the junk undergoes a transfiguration; it shines’
    • ‘For the iconographer, art is not a means of self-expression, but a method and practice of the path to the transfiguration of his nature.’
    • ‘Picasso was famous for transfigurations of the commonplace.’
    • ‘Here follows, etymological notes and a transfiguration (though poor) into modern English.’
    • ‘Between these two ordinary skins lies the means of their transfiguration: graphics and fibre-optics.’
    • ‘After a couple of minutes, the music undergoes a magical transfiguration: it's as though Exeter Cathedral's stained-glass angels had taken wing, soaring up to the heavens.’
    • ‘I intend to focus on single colour works, in which changes of shape produce transfigurations of space.’
    • ‘This ghostly apparition is actually a transfiguration of your loved one.’
    • ‘It eventually loomed over the eight others, who melted away into the shadows, their work done, the transfiguration begun.’
    • ‘Indeed, there is even a transfiguration of the archways, halls and yards of the convent in the following scenes of Nazi infiltration.’
    • ‘Instead we get strange transfigurations between the literal, the metaphorical, and the conceptual, which move polemically into a defense of the Catholic position on the Eucharist.’
    • ‘As the story unfolds, the object comes to represent a transfiguration of inner evil, repressed sexuality, an eruption of the unconscious, or simply a supernatural/diabolical manifestation.’
    • ‘Ultimately, it is about the subtle transfiguration of everyday details and the collapse of reason and communication.’
    • ‘So the music that accompanies Isolde's death is her transfiguration, and the repetition of the Tristan chord shows that she dies of love's sorrow.’
    • ‘What Cherry leaves us with is the understanding that poetry must be part of this memory, this pain without which spiritual transfiguration cannot begin.’
    • ‘If you thought Celtic music was fiddles, jigs and reels, this extraordinary album will be a platform for your transfiguration.’
    • ‘Ignored is the internal transfiguration of African-American life that often plays itself out within the community in powerfully destructive ways.’
    • ‘Two major techniques are the transfiguration of classical fairytales, and the integration of traditional motifs with contemporary references within atypical settings and plotlines.’
    change, alteration, modification, variation, conversion, revision, amendment, metamorphosis, transfiguration, evolution, mutation, sea change
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    1. 1.1Christ's appearance in radiant glory to three of his disciples (Matthew 17:2 and Mark 9:2–3).
      • ‘In the second passage, following the transfiguration, Jesus must exorcise a demon from a suffering child because his apostles could not do so, reportedly due to their lack of faith.’
      • ‘The Gospel reading is Luke's account of the transfiguration; the Old Testament and Epistle readings highlight different dimensions of this event in the life of the Christ.’
      • ‘Do you think you know all you need to about Transfiguration?’
      • ‘Right after experiencing the transfiguration, he and companions James and John had spoken sternly to a man who was casting out demons in Jesus' name.’
      • ‘For, while the message of the Transfiguration is easy to understand, it is at the same time hard to grasp.’
      • ‘Indeed, one might think spreading the story of the transfiguration could help convert a few unbelievers.’
      • ‘In Mark's account of the Transfiguration Jesus is set alongside the great prophets.’
      • ‘By the way, when Peter gets back into that line, he's there to climb the Mount of Transfiguration.’
      • ‘All people and all creation can share in Jesus' experience of Transfiguration.’
      • ‘The ‘holy mountain’ here is obviously not Sinai and likely not Zion, but the mount of the transfiguration, which becomes their antitype.’
      • ‘In the Transfiguration scene the disciples see Jesus conversing with Elijah, whose return heralds the end.’
      • ‘And in fact this is true if this picture is considered externally: above on the hill we see the transfiguration, below is the scene with the child possessed of an unclean spirit.’
      • ‘Orthodox Christians live - habitually, I would say - within a liturgical environment that transfigures body and soul, the entire world, in this vision of the light of the Transfiguration.’
      • ‘If Moses and Elijah could hear Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, why can't Mary hear?’
      • ‘Blink at the stage and you could have been looking at an icon of the Transfiguration.’
    2. 1.2The Church festival commemorating Christ's transfiguration, held on 6 August.
      • ‘Between August 1 and 6, San Salvador holds a fiesta (major celebration) commemorating the Transfiguration of Christ.’
      • ‘On the holiday of the Transfiguration, apples and honey are blessed and eaten along with other fruits of the season.’
      • ‘How many of you have scratched your head into baldness trying to come up with something new and interesting to say on the Feast of the Transfiguration?’
      • ‘The Transfiguration, observed traditionally in this last Sunday before Lent, brings Epiphany to a close with another divine irruption into the earthly.’
      • ‘The feast of the Transfiguration, so venerated by the Orthodox Church, serves as a key to the understanding of the humanity of Christ in the Eastern tradition.’


Late Middle English (with biblical reference): from Old French, or from Latin transfiguratio(n-), from the verb transfigurare (see transfigure).