Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Prophets were endowed with a peculiar and extraordinary power.

Human beings have, since the beginning of the world, stoned their prophets.

The prophets of the new blessing, Wordsworth and Coleridge, I knew nothing of.

And once more: 'When the ark was removed a stone was there from the days of the first Prophets.

Since King David, Allah has not thought of endowing his prophets with musical talent.

There's as much difference in horses as there is in prophets.

Limpin', creepin', crawlin', jumpin' Moses and the prophets!

Only a few of them are, the prophets and the great dead men he thinks so little of.

But the bearing of all the prophets and of Moses is one and the same.


late 12c., "person who speaks for God; one who foretells, inspired preacher," from Old French prophete, profete "prophet, soothsayer" (11c., Modern French prophète) and directly from Latin propheta, from Greek prophetes (Doric prophatas) "an interpreter, spokesman," especially of the gods, "inspired preacher or teacher," from pro- "before" (see pro-) + root of phanai "to speak," from PIE *bha- (2) "speak" (see fame (n.)).

The Greek word was used in Septuagint for Hebrew nabj "soothsayer." Early Latin writers translated Greek prophetes with Latin vates, but the Latinized form propheta predominated in post-Classical times, chiefly due to Christian writers, probably because of pagan associations of vates. In English, meaning "prophetic writer of the Old Testament" is from late 14c. Non-religious sense is from 1848; used of Muhammad from 1610s (translating Arabic al-nabiy, and sometimes also al-rasul, properly "the messenger"). The Latin word is glossed in Old English by witga.

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.