pre·​dict pri-ˈdikt How to pronounce predict (audio)
predicted; predicting; predicts

transitive verb

: to declare or indicate in advance
especially : foretell on the basis of observation, experience, or scientific reason
predictor noun
Choose the Right Synonym for predict

foretell, predict, forecast, prophesy, prognosticate mean to tell beforehand.

foretell applies to the telling of the coming of a future event by any procedure or any source of information.

seers foretold the calamity

predict commonly implies inference from facts or accepted laws of nature.

astronomers predicted an eclipse

forecast adds the implication of anticipating eventualities and differs from predict in being usually concerned with probabilities rather than certainties.

forecast snow

prophesy connotes inspired or mystic knowledge of the future especially as the fulfilling of divine threats or promises.

prophesying a new messiah

prognosticate is used less often than the other words; it may suggest learned or skilled interpretation, but more often it is simply a colorful substitute for predict or prophesy.

prognosticating the future

Examples of predict in a Sentence

All the local forecasters are predicting rain for this afternoon. She claims that she can predict future events. It's hard to predict how the election will turn out. Many people predicted that the store would fail, but it has done very well. Sales are predicted to be the same as last year.
Recent Examples on the Web Moreover, our ability to predict the future is often flawed. Sherzod Odilov, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 The vehicle’s unique look means its reception is hard to predict. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, 30 Nov. 2023 Because Wall Street investors tend to predict the Fed won’t start cutting rates until the second half of 2024, CDs rates are likely to stay at their elevated levels for much of the year. Mallika Mitra,, 29 Nov. 2023 The single-motor version, for example, is predicted to retail for over $50,000, while the tri-motor version will likely be over $80,000. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, 29 Nov. 2023 Billionaire investor Bill Ackman is betting the Federal Reserve will begin cutting interest rates sooner than markets are predicting. Amanda Cantrell, Fortune, 29 Nov. 2023 Diamandis predicts teams will use gene therapies, epigenetic reprogramming, stem cell therapies—or a combination—to deliver results. Alexa Mikhail, Fortune Well, 29 Nov. 2023 Forecasters predict that eventually climate change could shut down as many vineyards as phylloxera once did (albeit with the twist that colder regions, like England, are seeing improved production). Alex Mayyasi, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Nov. 2023 Analysts predict that despite market saturation and a current decline in user growth, companies will pivot to monetization by any means, a move that could further spoil what people believe is an already poor user experience. WIRED, 18 Nov. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Latin praedictus, past participle of praedicere, from prae- pre- + dicere to say — more at diction

First Known Use

1590, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of predict was in 1590

Dictionary Entries Near predict

Cite this Entry

“Predict.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


pre·​dict pri-ˈdikt How to pronounce predict (audio)
: to declare in advance : foretell on the basis of observation, experience, or reasoning
predictable adjective

from Latin praedictus, past participle of praedicere "to predict, tell ahead of time," from prae- "pre-, earlier than, before" and dicere "to say" — related to dictate

More from Merriam-Webster on predict

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