div·​i·​na·​tion | \ ˌdi-və-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce divination (audio) \

Definition of divination

1 : the art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by the interpretation of omens or by the aid of supernatural powers
2 : unusual insight : intuitive perception

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Other Words from divination

divinatory \ də-​ˈvi-​nə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce divination (audio) , də-​ˈvī-​nə-​ , ˈdi-​və-​nə-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for divination


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Examples of divination in a Sentence

the art of reading tea leaves and other forms of divination if her powers of divination are so great, why doesn't she know what the stock market will do?
Recent Examples on the Web In a moment when spiritual jazz has become a dangerously buzzy concept, trust a musician who has truly devoted his life to divination practices. New York Times, "Best Jazz Albums of 2020," 2 Dec. 2020 There was still plenty of uncertainty—mortality rates were high, natural disasters arrived without warning—and a desire to manage that uncertainty through divination. Christopher Beha, Harper's Magazine, "Future Sense," 24 Nov. 2020 Something has happened—the live capture of a personality, if not a soul—but it was engendered by a job, not by a divination. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "Goya and the Art of Survival," 14 Sep. 2020 In conjunction with other divine instruments such as Iroke Ifa (diviner tapper), Ikin Ifa (sacred palm or kola nuts) and opele Ifa (divination chain), the tray is used to determine the verses associated with patron’s particular predicament. NOLA.com, "Yoruba priests use divination tray to answer questions, solve dilemmas in the community," 1 Sep. 2020 In the process of divination, the priest places a powder called iyerosun over the tray and draws it into nine sections, each representing an ancient. NOLA.com, "Yoruba priests use divination tray to answer questions, solve dilemmas in the community," 1 Sep. 2020 Cardano had little patience for the prevailing divination methods of the day, like astrology. Maria Konnikova, Wired, "Poker and the Psychology of Uncertainty," 23 June 2020 Smith’s parents had been drawn into this religious passion—especially his father, who dabbled in divination until his dreams were filled with prophecies. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, "How Joseph Smith and the Early Mormons Challenged American Democracy," 23 Mar. 2020 Inside the dough, there is a piece of rolled or folded piece of paper with a human character trait that is supposed to reveal a divination of sorts. NBC News, "From Chinese to Tibetan, all the most delicious Lunar New Year dishes explained," 25 Jan. 2020

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

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First Known Use of divination

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for divination

Middle English divinacioun, from Latin divination-, divinatio, from divinare — see divine entry 3

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Time Traveler for divination

Time Traveler

The first known use of divination was in the 14th century

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Statistics for divination

Last Updated

18 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Divination.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/divination. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for divination


How to pronounce divination (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of divination

: the practice of using signs (such as an arrangement of tea leaves or cards) or special powers to predict the future


div·​i·​na·​tion | \ ˌdi-və-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce divination (audio) \

Kids Definition of divination

: the art or practice of using signs and omens or magic powers to foretell the future

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