om·​ni·​scient äm-ˈni-shənt How to pronounce omniscient (audio)
: having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight
an omniscient author
the narrator seems an omniscient person who tells us about the characters and their relationsIra Konigsberg
: possessed of universal or complete knowledge
the omniscient God
omnisciently adverb

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What is the origin of omniscient?

One who is omniscient literally knows all. The word omniscient combines two Latin roots: omni-, meaning "all" or "universally," and the verb scire, meaning "to know." You will recognize omni- as the prefix that tells all in such words as omnivorous ("eating all" or, in actual use, "eating both plants and animals") and omnipotent ("all-powerful"). Scire likewise has a number of other knowledge-related descendants in English, including conscience, science, and prescience (meaning "foreknowledge").

Examples of omniscient in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Invariably, when the misconduct is laid bare, the desire to feel omniscient in a relationship, or exercise godlike power over a complete stranger, tops the list of determinants IDed by investigators. WIRED, 24 Oct. 2023 The subtle omniscient croonage of David Attenborough simultaneously comforts me and plugs me deep into the ground like nothing else. Los Angeles Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, 3 Nov. 2023 Advertisement Abandoning a central hero allows the streets to speak for themselves, with the powerful voice of an omniscient boy of Dean Street serving as interlocutor and guide. Lauren Leblanc, Los Angeles Times, 28 Sep. 2023 As Meggie Yu, our seemingly omniscient guide from InsideAsia Tours, explained, these buildings were themselves slated for demolition to make way for a neighborhood park until the city, recognizing their historical value, changed course and established Donuimun in 2017. Jesse Ashlock, Condé Nast Traveler, 30 Aug. 2023 Jameela Jamil plays the omniscient narrator in the film, providing additional insight into the characters and situation at hand, though there is no outside narrator in the novel. Maggie Horton, Country Living, 8 Sep. 2023 There Will Also Be a Bridgerton Season Four In April 2021, Shondaland, Shonda Rhimes’s production company, shared an announcement via X, the social platform formerly known as Twitter, under the auspices of the show’s omniscient narrator and gossip columnist Lady Whistledown. Rachel Silva, ELLE Decor, 24 Aug. 2023 And because movies offer a visual immediacy and narrative immersion that books don’t, they are expected to be sweeping if not omniscient in their narrative scope, to reach for a comprehensive, even definitive vantage. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 11 Aug. 2023 Neither was an omniscient observer of the mind or actions of the other. Roy Thomas, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'omniscient.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin omniscient-, omnisciens, back-formation from Medieval Latin omniscientia

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of omniscient was in 1598


Dictionary Entries Near omniscient

Cite this Entry

“Omniscient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


om·​ni·​scient äm-ˈnish-ənt How to pronounce omniscient (audio)
: knowing everything
omnisciently adverb

from modern Latin omniscient-, omnisciens "knowing all things, all-knowing," derived from omni- (from omnis "all") and scient-, sciens "knowing," from scire "to know" — related to science

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