Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 20, 2020 is:
envisage • in-VIZ-ij • verb
1 : to view or regard in a certain way
2 : 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.
“The internet was envisaged as a decentralized global network, but in the past 25 years it has come to be controlled by a few, very powerful, centralized companies.” — Mark van Rijmenam and Philippa Ryan, Blockchain, 2018
Did you know?
Envisage has been part of the English language since the 17th century. It was sometimes used with the sense of “to meet squarely” or “to confront” (visage means “face” so the word suggests face-to-face encounters); however, that sense is now archaic and the word is primarily used in senses that involve having a particular conception or mental picture of something (visage also means “appearance” or “aspect”). In the early 20th century, 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. Its near twin envision (“to picture to oneself”), which has been with us since the 19th century, is interchangeable with envisage in many contexts and is slightly less formal.