verb pre·dict \ pri-ˈdikt \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of predict

transitive verb
:to declare or indicate in advance; especially :foretell on the basis of observation, experience, or scientific reason
intransitive verb
:to make a prediction


play \pri-ˌdik-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun


play \pri-ˈdik-tə-bəl\ adjective


play \pri-ˈdik-tiv\ adjective


play \pri-ˈdik-tiv-lē\ adverb


play \pri-ˈdik-tər\ noun

Examples of predict in a Sentence

  1. All the local forecasters are predicting rain for this afternoon.

  2. She claims that she can predict future events.

  3. It's hard to predict how the election will turn out.

  4. Many people predicted that the store would fail, but it has done very well.

  5. Sales are predicted to be the same as last year.

Recent Examples of predict from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'predict.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of predict

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

PREDICT Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of predict for English Language Learners

  • : to say that (something) will or might happen in the future

PREDICT Defined for Kids


verb pre·dict \ pri-ˈdikt \

Definition of predict for Students

predicted; predicting
:to say that (something) will or might happen in the future
  • predict the weather

Word Root of predict

The Latin word dicere, meaning “to say” or “to speak,” and its form dictus give us the root dict. Words from the Latin dicere have something to do with saying or speaking. To dictate is to say words that are to be written down by someone else. To contradict is to say the opposite of what someone else has said. To predict is to say what will happen before it does.

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