om·​ni·​scient | \ äm-ˈni-shənt How to pronounce omniscient (audio) \

Definition of omniscient

1 : having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight an omniscient author the narrator seems an omniscient person who tells us about the characters and their relations— Ira Konigsberg
2 : possessed of universal or complete knowledge the omniscient God

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Other Words from omniscient

omnisciently adverb

What is the origin of omniscient?

One who is omniscient literally knows all. The word omniscient, which has been part of English since at least the beginning of the 17th century, brings together two Latin roots: the prefix omni-, meaning "all," 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, more precisely, "eating both meat and vegetables") 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 This invention is an anthropomorphic omniscient narrator—or, to be more colloquial, a story told by someone with a human heart and a god’s all-seeing eye. Angus Fletcher, Smithsonian Magazine, "Eight of Literature’s Most Powerful Inventions—and the Neuroscience Behind How They Work," 10 Mar. 2021 It was narrated by the actress Brie Larson, embodying the role of an omniscient mushroom. New York Times, "The Mushrooms Will Survive Us," 7 Feb. 2021 But no single one of these machines, when used in isolation, is omniscient. Arthur Holland Michel, Wired, "There Are Spying Eyes Everywhere—and Now They Share a Brain," 4 Feb. 2021 The lack of an omniscient narrator leaves readers inside Buck's mind, hoping for exposition or insights to motivations that never arrive. Michael Kleber-diggs Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Review: 'Black Buck,' by Mateo Askaripour," 29 Jan. 2021 The omniscient voice was fascinated with violence and objectifying women’s bodies. Aya De León, Harper's BAZAAR, "Spy Novels Made Me a Better Black Woman Writer," 12 Jan. 2021 The cast is entirely new, except for the voice of the omniscient Gossip Girl, which will be provided once again by Kristen Bell. Matthew Gilbert,, "The ones to watch in 2021," 31 Dec. 2020 The implicit vision guiding most of our integrity work today is one where all human discourse is overseen by perfect, fair, omniscient robots owned by Mark Zuckerberg. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "Workers of the Facebook, Unite!," 29 Dec. 2020 Are Descartes’ almost perfect illusionist, Laplace’s nearly omniscient intelligence and Maxwell’s entropy-resistant imp really as tangible as a microchip or a shock wave? Washington Post, "The shadowy spirits that helped advance science," 24 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'omniscient.' 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 omniscient

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for omniscient

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

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Time Traveler for omniscient

Time Traveler

The first known use of omniscient was in 1598

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Last Updated

18 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Omniscient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of omniscient

formal : knowing everything : having unlimited understanding or knowledge

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