man·​tic | \ ˈman-tik How to pronounce mantic (audio) \

Definition of mantic

: of or relating to the faculty of divination : prophetic

Did You Know?

The adjective "mantic" comes from the Greek word mantikos, which itself derives from mantis, meaning "prophet." The mantis insect got its name from this same source, supposedly because its posture - with the forelimbs extended as though in prayer -reminded folks of a prophet. Not surprisingly, the combining form "-mancy," which means "divination in a (specified) manner" (as in "necromancy" and "pyromancy"), is a relative of "mantic." A less expected, and more distant, relative is mania, meaning "insanity marked by uncontrollable emotion or excitement" or "excessive enthusiasm." "Mania" descends from Greek mainesthai ("to be mad"), a word akin to "mantis" and its offspring. And indeed, prophesying in ancient Greece was sometimes believed to be "inspired madness."

First Known Use of mantic

1839, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mantic

Greek mantikos, from mantis

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mantic

Time Traveler for mantic

Time Traveler

The first known use of mantic was in 1839

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about mantic

Statistics for mantic

Cite this Entry

“Mantic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

Comments on mantic

What made you want to look up mantic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!