prophet late 12c., from O.Fr. prophete (11c.), from L. propheta, from Gk. prophetes (Doric prophatas) "an interpreter, spokesman," especially of the gods, from pro- "before" (see PRO- (Cf. pro-)) + root of phanai "to speak," from PIE *bha- (2) "speak" (see FAME (Cf. fame)). Used in Septuagint for Heb. nabj "soothsayer." By early writers, Gk. prophetes was translated by L. vates, but the Latinized form propheta predominated in post-Classical times, chiefly due to Christian writers, probably because of pagan associations of VATES (Cf. vates). Non-religious sense is from 1848; used of Muhammad from 1610s (translating Arabic al-nabiy, and sometimes also al-rasul, prop. "the messenger"). The Latin word is glossed in O.E. by witga. Prophetess is recorded from c.1300.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


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  • prophet — [präf′it] n. [ME prophete < OFr < LL propheta, soothsayer, in LL(Ec), prophet < Gr prophētēs, interpreter of a god s will (in LXX, a Hebrew prophet; in N.T., an inspired preacher) < pro , before + phanai, to speak: see BAN1] 1. a… …   English World dictionary

  • Prophet — Sm std. (13. Jh.), mhd. prophēt[e] Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. prophēta, prophētēs, dieses aus gr. prophḗtēs, eigentlich Ausleger und Verkündiger der Orakelsprüche , zu gr. phánai sagen, erklären und gr. pro . Adjektiv: prophetisch; Verb:… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • prophet — ► NOUN (fem. prophetess) 1) an inspired teacher or proclaimer of the will of God. 2) a person who predicts the future. 3) a person who advocates a new belief or theory. ● a prophet is not without honour save in his own country Cf. ↑a prophet is… …   English terms dictionary

  • Prophet — Prophet: Das seit mhd. Zeit (mhd. prophēte) bezeugte Fremdwort bezeichnete zunächst den von Gott berufenen und begeisterten Mahner und Weissager des Alten Testaments. Aus den rein biblischen Zusammenhängen herausgelöst, gilt es dann auch… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • Prophet — Proph et, n. [F. proph[ e]te, L. propheta, fr. Gr. ?, literally, one who speaks for another, especially, one who speaks for a god an interprets his will to man, fr. ? to say beforehand; ? for, before + ? to say or speak. See {Fame}. ] [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Prophēt — (griech., hebr. Nabi, der Wortbedeutung nach »Sprecher«), bei den Hebräern einer, der in göttlichem Auftrag und Drang redete (nicht etwa bloß, worauf das griechische Wort hinweist, Zukünftiges voraussagte). Zur Zeit des Samuel begegnen wir… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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  • Prophet — In religion, a prophet (or prophetess) is a person who has encountered the supernatural or the divine and serves as an intermediary with humanity. [ [ prophet definition of prophet by the Free Online… …   Wikipedia

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