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 As a result of Iger’s vision and prescience, Disney is way ahead of traditional media peers in bridging the linear-to-streaming transition, with its streaming business driving billions more in revenue than any of its legacy competitors. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Fortune, 2 Apr. 2024 Instead, the Kremlin has been blaming a warped combination of Western prescience, and Ukrainian assistance. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, 23 Mar. 2024 And a film that felt at once hopeful and foreboding now takes on a dreadful prescience. Jada Yuan, Washington Post, 18 Feb. 2024 Its true prescience, though, lay in its ambivalence. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 17 Jan. 2024 Melange also conveys a kind of prescience and makes faster-than-light travel practical. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 12 Dec. 2023 Maria Rizzo plays Evelyn Nesbit with a winking variety of prescience: A showgirl at the center of a notorious scandal of the time, her tease of an Evelyn foretells an era of celebrities famous for being famous. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 6 Nov. 2023 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

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 13 Apr. 2024.

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!