tr.v. pre·fig·ured, pre·fig·ur·ing, pre·fig·ures
1. To suggest, indicate, or represent by an antecedent form or model; presage or foreshadow: The paintings of Paul Cézanne prefigured the rise of cubism in the early 1900s.
2. Archaic To imagine in advance.
[Middle English prefiguren, from Old French prefigurer, from Late Latin praefigūrāre : Latin prae-, pre- + Latin figūrāre, to shape (from figūra, shape; see dheigh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
pre·figur·a·tive (-fĭgyər-ə-tĭv) adj.
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.