pre·​cog·​ni·​tion ˌprē-(ˌ)käg-ˈni-shən How to pronounce precognition (audio)
: clairvoyance relating to an event or state not yet experienced
precognitive adjective

Examples of precognition in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But in behavioral science, many scholars point to an article published in a mainstream psychology journal in 2011 claiming evidence of precognition — that is, the ability to sense the future. Noam Scheiber, New York Times, 30 Sep. 2023 But instead of rearranging itself around Barker’s research into precognition, the paradigm shifted away from him and snapped more firmly into place. Ian Beacock, The New Republic, 25 Aug. 2022 The evidence for precognition was staring us in the face all along. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 19 May 2012 So Bem devised a series of experiments to test precognition. Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, Discover Magazine, 13 May 2012 Take the example of psychologist Daryl Bem, who has infuriated his colleagues by publishing an experiment that supports the existence of precognition: the ability to sense events that have not yet happened. Corey S Powell, Discover Magazine, 4 Apr. 2012 The show enjoyed a one-two punch (or kick) of precognition. Mike Bloom, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Nov. 2022 During his time in Aberfan, Barker tactfully but doggedly set about recording examples of precognition that came his way. Kathryn Hughes, The New York Review of Books, 19 Oct. 2022 More daringly, Barker thought that proving the existence of precognition would overturn the basic human understanding of linear time. Ian Beacock, The New Republic, 25 Aug. 2022 See More

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

Word History


Late Latin praecognition-, praecognitio, from Latin praecognoscere to know beforehand, from prae- + cognoscere to know — more at cognition

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of precognition was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near precognition

Cite this Entry

“Precognition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Medical Definition


pre·​cog·​ni·​tion ˌprē-(ˌ)käg-ˈnish-ən How to pronounce precognition (audio)
: clairvoyance relating to an event or state not yet experienced compare psychokinesis, telekinesis
precognitive adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on precognition

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