Definition of transfigure in English:


Pronunciation /ˌtransˈfɪɡə//ˌtrɑːnsˈfɪɡə//ˌtranzˈfɪɡə//ˌtranzˈfɪɡə/


[with object]
  • Transform into something more beautiful or elevated.

    ‘the world is made luminous and is transfigured’
    • ‘Meanwhile, a residential construction and remodeling boom promises to transfigure the look of the place still further.’
    • ‘Even pain is transfigured into a sort of pleasure which can be savoured aesthetically.’
    • ‘But what is more impressive is the way the show transfigures ordinary gestures.’
    • ‘The space ship is cluttered with aging technology and tattered furniture - this is not the uniformly pristine and transfigured world of the typical sci-fi flick.’
    • ‘It becomes ever more nuancé, ever more modern, and the result is that it can no longer depict a tenement block or a refuse heap without transfiguring it.’
    • ‘Technology or mechanistic craft adjusts to the functions of everyday life; art elevates and transfigures the everyday into a transcendent state.’
    • ‘It's still early in the morning; the air is cool and exhilarating, and the low sun softens the landscape and transfigures the dour colours of the hills.’
    • ‘If he had lived in our era, he would probably be a blogger, but instead his multivolume book transfigures his encounters with the arts and artists.’
    • ‘For the snow-making industry, the real thing, falling silently from the sky in huge crystals and transfiguring the landscape, is so unreliable it is almost a nuisance.’
    • ‘Back out on the hill, they were ecstatic, their faces transfigured by huge, permanent smiles.’
    • ‘Yoga, he observes, uses up and transfigures such basic drives as hunger, sex and breathing; but it suspends or absorbs activities like thought, emotion and will.’
    • ‘From today, this small spa town in County Clare is going to be transfigured.’
    • ‘William Blake produced a series of visionary paintings about mankind transfigured by revolution and a series of graphic illustrations to highlight the plight of black slaves tortured in Surinam.’
    • ‘Within a very short period, humanity has no doubt transfigured the face of the earth by obliterating space and time through the revolution in communications and urbanisation of the world.’
    • ‘A young girl, intent on her guitar-playing, with a sun-reddened face and wind-tangled, light-shot hair, is transfigured by her own music.’
    • ‘The eye is a crystal ball, where the pain suffered is transfigured into pleasure received.’
    • ‘As soon as he began to play, the experience of the music was transfigured.’
    • ‘Its ten plain lines show how accident can be transfigured by inspiration.’
    • ‘People have imaginatively transfigured their experiences of real life into visions of the unknown world.’
    • ‘The contemporary poets I most admire are similarly subtle in the ways in which they use language to transfigure our perception of the natural world.’
    transform, change, alter, convert, metamorphose, vary, modify, transmute, mutate
    View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French transfigurer or Latin transfigurare, from trans- ‘across’ + figura ‘figure’.