clair·​voy·​ant | \ kler-ˈvȯi-ənt How to pronounce clairvoyant (audio) \

Definition of clairvoyant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having clairvoyance : able to see beyond the range of ordinary perception claims to be clairvoyant
2 : of or relating to clairvoyance clairvoyant powers the clairvoyant revelations of a medium



Definition of clairvoyant (Entry 2 of 2)

: one having the power of clairvoyance

Other Words from clairvoyant


clairvoyantly adverb

The Meaning of Clairvoyant Is Clear


In French, "clairvoyant" literally means "clear-seeing," mentally or optically. The term made a brief appearance in English in the 17th century, as an adjective suggesting a keen sense of perception, but it did not become firmly established in the language until the 19th century. Today we most often apply this adjective to someone who essentially has ESP, an unexplainable ability to know or perceive things that others cannot. (We also now use "clairvoyant" as a noun for a person who has this ability.) But although "clairvoyant" is nearly always used in the ESP sense these days, the allusion to special powers frequently isn't dead serious. ("Are you clairvoyant? How did you know I was going to wear my flamingo shirt?")

Examples of clairvoyant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective First introduced in Spider-Man comics in the 1980s, Madame Web is a blind clairvoyant woman who lived in a complex life-support system resembling a spider web. Kevin Slane,, 19 July 2022 Dakota Johnson will star as the titular clairvoyant Marvel Comics character. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 19 July 2022 In the Marvel comics, Madame Web is a clairvoyant mutant with powerful psychic abilities who lives in a complex life-support system resembling a spider web. Globe Staff,, 8 July 2022 Batali's attorney argued that the Boston assault never happened and that the accuser isn't a credible witness, homing in on the woman's recent admission of attempting to avoid jury service by claiming to be clairvoyant. CBS News, 11 May 2022 Batali’s attorney argued that the Boston assault never happened and that the accuser isn’t a credible witness, homing in on the woman’s recent admission of attempting to avoid jury service by claiming to be clairvoyant. Philip Marcelo, Anchorage Daily News, 10 May 2022 Introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man #210 published in November 1980, Madame Web is a telepathic, clairvoyant mutant who mentors Spider-Man as well as the various female iterations of the character who come after. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 17 Mar. 2022 WaddleDeeKnows was just the latest example of a common Internet scam that can make random users look clairvoyant in retrospect, and the account serves as a cautionary tale for observers to be wary of predictions. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 14 Feb. 2022 Cooper's Stanton Carlisle soon latches onto a clairvoyant (Toni Collette) and a mysterious psychoanalyst (Cate Blanchett), and hatches a plan to con a dangerous tycoon out of thousands of dollars. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, 13 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In that ruling, the judge explained that there are already enough roadblocks and players in homeownership between the appraiser, contractor, agent, and more, so adding a clairvoyant to the list is just another complication. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 27 July 2022 In another flabbergasting turn, a magazine writer found a clairvoyant in the Netherlands who professed to confirm the story in detail and added that Crater’s body was buried in the basement of the house. Edward Kosner, WSJ, 20 June 2022 Even the mystical master, a clairvoyant who warns people of scams, has something to gain. Hannah Zeavin, Harper’s Magazine , 22 June 2022 The film follows Ramses, a skilful clairvoyant in the multicultural Parisian district of La Goutte d’Or. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 13 May 2022 The origin story stars Dakota Johnson as the title character, a clairvoyant with abilities to see into the spider world. J. Kim Murphy, Variety, 20 Apr. 2022 That person, who also goes under my name, is supposed to be a cinema clairvoyant who can predict the winners of six main Oscar categories several days before they are revealed on TV. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 24 Mar. 2022 Earlier this month, Dakota Johnson was cast as Madame Web, a blind clairvoyant with ties to the multiverse, in a future standalone movie. Jordan Moreau, Variety, 22 Feb. 2022 And why won’t anyone talk with her about Uncle Bruno, the clairvoyant who disappeared years ago? Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clairvoyant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of clairvoyant


1844, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1846, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for clairvoyant


French, from clair clear (from Latin clarus) + voyant, present participle of voir to see, from Latin vidēre — more at wit

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The first known use of clairvoyant was in 1844

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Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Clairvoyant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for clairvoyant


clair·​voy·​ant | \ -ənt How to pronounce clairvoyant (audio) \

Medical Definition of clairvoyant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to clairvoyance



Medical Definition of clairvoyant (Entry 2 of 2)

: one having the power of clairvoyance


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