1778, "look in the face of," from French envisager "look in the face of," from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + visage "face" (see visage). Hence "to apprehend mentally, contemplate" (1837). Related: Envisaged; envisaging; envisagement.
word-forming element meaning "in; into," from French and Old French en-, from Latin in- "in, into" (from PIE root *en "in"). Typically assimilated before -p-, -b-, -m-, -l-, and -r-. Latin in- became en- in French, Spanish, Portuguese, but remained in- in Italian.
Also used with native and imported elements to form verbs from nouns and adjectives, with a sense "put in or on" (encircle), also "cause to be, make into" (endear), and used as an intensive (enclose). Spelling variants in French that were brought over into Middle English account for parallels such as ensure/insure, and most en- words in English had at one time or another a variant in in-, and vice versa.
c. 1300, from Anglo-French and Old French visage "face, coutenance; portrait," from vis "face, appearance," from Latin visus "a look, vision," from past participle stem of videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see"). Visagiste "make-up artist" is recorded from 1958, from French.
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Definitions of envisage
form a mental image of something that is not present or that is not the case;