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

Essential Meaning of omniscient

formal : knowing everything : having unlimited understanding or knowledge an omniscient deity The novel has an omniscient narrator. [=a narrator who knows what all the characters are doing and thinking]

Full 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

Other Words from omniscient

omnisciently adverb

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 Earlier this month, BuzzFeed News’s Katie Notopoulos reported on concerns among longtime fans of the anonymous, omniscient-seeming blogger Enty, who runs a popular blind-item blog called Crazy Days and Nights. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, 27 Oct. 2021 The cleverest thing the episode (written by Tony Roche and Susan Soon He Stanton, and directed by Kevin Bray) does is give us a fairly omniscient view of the proceedings. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 15 Nov. 2021 Or a story with an invasively omniscient narrator who knows everything about everyone at the most granular level. Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, 27 Dec. 2021 Kaepernick steps into the role of omniscient narrator in voiceovers that start out shouty and stilted but smooths out by the end of the limited series’ six half-hour installments. Joshua Alston, Variety, 28 Oct. 2021 Part of the challenge for Bialik — and anyone in the running for the job — will be the comparison to Trebek, who started as host in 1984 and cultivated the image of an impeccably impartial omniscient narrator. New York Times, 11 Oct. 2021 In it, an unsuspecting girl named Tara (Jenna Ortega) gets a landline call and corresponding text messages from the omniscient stalker — then sees her smart-phone tech turn against her as Ghostface emerges at her door to slash her belly. Nardine Saad Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 2021 Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century novels are full of naïve young protagonists striking off on journeys of ethical maturation, and omniscient narrators opining on virtue and meting out reward or punishment to characters based on their moral worth. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, 27 Sep. 2021 In Fates and Furies, a Greek chorus interjects in key moments with pithy, omniscient commentary about the characters. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 7 Sep. 2021

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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The first known use of omniscient was in 1598

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Omniscient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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