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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

A Word A Day — envisage


Good morning, Netizens...


October 15, 2012

Word of the Day


  • envisage

  • audio pronunciation

  • \in-VIZ-ij\





: to view or regard in a certain way


: to have a mental picture of especially in advance of realization



In planning out their new patio, Betty and Sherman envisaged a place where they could grill food on the barbecue and invite friends over to relax.

"A captivating new book envisages conversations between Twain and his European philosopher counterparts Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche and Karl Marx. In their interdisciplinary study, 'The Jester and the Sages,' three scholars take an exciting approach to explaining the literary, philosophical and moral identity of arguably contemporary Americana’s father.” — From a review by Alexander Heffner in the Kansas City Star, December 8, 2011



"Envisage" has been part of the English language since the 17th century. In the early 19th century, it was sometimes used with the now archaic sense of "to meet squarely" or "to confront." By 1837, the word had developed the sense "to have a mental picture of." In the 1920s, some usage commentators began deriding "envisage" for reasons not entirely clear, declaring it "undesirable." Today, time and usage have won out, and "envisage" is widely used and accepted, though it is slightly formal in tone. The same can be said of its near twin "envision" ("to picture to oneself"), which has been with us since the late 19th century and is interchangeable with "envisage" in many contexts.

From Merriam-Webster Online at

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