pre·​science ˈpre-sh(ē-)ən(t)s How to pronounce prescience (audio)
: foreknowledge of events:
: divine omniscience
: human anticipation of the course of events : foresight
ˈpre-sh(ē-)ənt How to pronounce prescience (audio)
presciently adverb

Did you know?

If you know the origin of science you already know half the story of prescience. Science comes from the Latin verb sciō, scīre, "to know," also source of such words as conscience, conscious, and omniscience. Prescience has as its ancestor a word that attached prae-, a predecessor of pre-, to this root to make praescire, meaning "to know beforehand."

Examples of prescience in a Sentence

He predicted their response with amazing prescience. Her prescience as an investor is impressive.
Recent Examples on the Web After Currie caught the market’s attention with his prescience on oil’s surge to triple digits in the 2000s, his Goldman team famously doubled down in May 2008. Sridhar Natarajan, Fortune, 7 Aug. 2023 For all his apparent prescience about the Iraq war and his warnings that any permanent Middle East peace agreement would depend on Israel’s acceptance of a Palestinian state, Mr. Viorst’s vision of the Six-Day War’s impact remains unfulfilled. Sam Roberts, New York Times, 17 Dec. 2022 The company has long produced a gusher of easy revenue thanks to the prescience of its founder, Barry Silbert, who had been the first to spot a lucrative trade that involved wrapping Bitcoin in the garb of traditional finance. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune Crypto, 17 Aug. 2023 This is what elevates The Truman Show from prescience to prophesy. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 20 June 2023 But Kushner’s play still feels contemporary, still speaks to our time with poetic lucidity — and with political prescience, as when Cohn gloats over the stealthy, appointment-by-appointment tactics that can enlarge the influence of the right. Don Aucoin,, 1 May 2023 The film's prescience is as eerie as its conclusions are disturbing. Brian Lowry, CNN, 13 Aug. 2021 Flewellen can’t help but be inspired by the eloquence of that observation, and awestruck by its prescience. Tyrone Beasonstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 6 Mar. 2023 Melange also conveys a kind of prescience and makes faster-than-light travel practical. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 3 May 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, from Late Latin praescientia, from Latin praescient-, praesciens, present participle of praescire to know beforehand, from prae- + scire to know — more at science

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of prescience was in the 14th century


Dictionary Entries Near prescience

Cite this Entry

“Prescience.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


pre·​science ˈprēsh(-ē)-ən(t)s How to pronounce prescience (audio)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!