Definition of prophecy in English:



  • 1A prediction.

    ‘a bleak prophecy of war and ruin’
    • ‘Biblical prophecy is not easily translated to the twenty-first century.’
    • ‘However, to do so, she must fulfill a prophecy written about her in the Book of the Prophets.’
    • ‘Why have falling prices in the world economy led to prophecies of doom?’
    • ‘When I die, one prophecy is fulfilled, and a new shall begin.’
    • ‘He wished the words written in the book of ancient prophecies were not true.’
    • ‘You'll also be likely to create new behaviours to fulfil the prophecy.’
    • ‘The comments produced another spate of recriminations and prophecies of doom from opposition parties.’
    • ‘In order to fulfil this prophecy, a number of important events still needed to take place.’
    • ‘If she does not, the ancient prophecies foretell doom and destruction over all the earth.’
    • ‘Might the subsequent success of that project not give some grounds for doubting his dire prophecies?’
    • ‘Obviously their predictions are false and their prophecies of an apocalyptic ending at a specified time fail.’
    • ‘As we arrive on the scene of the accident, his words become an eerily accurate prophecy.’
    • ‘He could make prophecies and they would always come true.’
    • ‘This was predicted in many prophecies, old and recent, throughout the world.’
    • ‘It tells her prophecies and predictions, and sometimes she can speak to the deceased with it.’
    • ‘Who's making bold prophecies for the future of online retail?’
    • ‘The Hopi prophecies say they will be divided three times.’
    • ‘Last week, his dire prophecies came true.’
    • ‘The prophecy foretold that the side that claimed the fallen angels shall win the war.’
    • ‘If they found that he was the one the prophecy spoke of, then there would be fear.’
    prediction, forecast, prognostication, prognosis, divination, augury
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The faculty, function, or practice of prophesying.
      ‘the gift of prophecy’
      • ‘In certain cases, prophecy was granted in order to deliver a message to a community or the Nation.’
      • ‘I grew up with prophecy as a normal facet of my life, so I know how you feel about calling, or intended paths.’
      • ‘Other terms for clairvoyance include second sight, shadow sight, prophecy, and spiritual communication.’
      • ‘Thousands of years ago, the Jewish people even had special schools for prophecy.’
      • ‘Before his guests arrived on the scene, Abraham used prophecy as means to speak with God.’
      • ‘First, characters can represent types of reactions to prophecy and what it stands for.’
      • ‘He was also the god of prophecy and healing but expressed the more creative aspects of music and sport as well.’
      • ‘All in all, then, for Israelite prophecy the temple had not always been fundamental.’
      • ‘Thirdly, prophecy and social action are captured by a knowing that stems from the will.’
      • ‘The guidelines given for prophecy apply to all forms of believer-to-believer sharing.’
      • ‘I do not credit that honourable member with having the gift of prophecy.’
      • ‘Humans do not have the gift of prophecy, nor do we always have the most accurate knowledge.’
      • ‘This may well be true, provided that the nature of prophecy be correctly understood.’
      • ‘There was an explosion of oral communication in story, preaching, teaching, worship, prophecy, and so on.’
      • ‘That is why our Torah and tradition insist that the claim to prophecy not be based on miraculous evidence.’
      • ‘His views on the nature of prophecy were unpopular among religious scholars.’
      • ‘They are also gifted with prophecy, and help those who are involved in the prophecies.’
      • ‘She hadn't had the gift of prophecy in life, and she wondered why she did now in death.’
      • ‘Threads of commonality have been explored, such as prophecy in Judaism and Islam.’
      • ‘Thus, the restoration of prophecy is very important in the unfolding of the Messianic drama.’
      foretelling the future, forecasting the future, fortune telling, crystal-gazing, prediction, second sight, clairvoyance, prognostication, divination, soothsaying
      View synonyms


To avoid a common usage mistake, note the spelling and pronunciation differences between prophecy (the noun) and prophesy (the verb)


Middle English: from Old French profecie, via late Latin from Greek prophēteia, from prophētēs (see prophet).