pre·​science | \ ˈpre-sh(ē-)ən(t)s How to pronounce prescience (audio) , ˈprē-, -s(ē-)ən(t)s \

Definition of prescience

: foreknowledge of events:
a : divine omniscience
b : human anticipation of the course of events : foresight

Other Words from prescience

prescient \ ˈpre-​sh(ē-​)ənt How to pronounce prescience (audio) , ˈprē-​ , -​s(ē-​)ənt \ adjective
presciently adverb

Synonyms for prescience


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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 Those who read it now for the first time will no doubt marvel at the author’s prescience and his seeming foreknowledge of global events surrounding Russia, Ukraine and the geopolitics of oil and natural gas. David Blackmon, Forbes, 12 June 2022 Seventy-five years later, those warnings have gained a new prescience. Yasmeen Serhan, The Atlantic, 27 May 2022 Especially at the end of the second episode, Apatow and Bonfiglio concentrate on Carlin’s prescience without delving all that deeply into his subsequent appropriation by both sides of the political spectrum. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 May 2022 The prospect of the overturn of Roe v. Wade has sparked observations about the book's prescience and relevance to modern events. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 24 May 2022 Many others have belatedly accepted the prescience of those warnings. John Harwood, CNN, 13 Feb. 2022 But the prescience of his warning in Tbilisi remains unquestionable. Adam O’neal, WSJ, 11 Feb. 2022 Though the teaser looks chillingly familiar 18 months into a real-life pandemic, the series began filming before COVID-19 turned the world upside-down, underscoring the story's eerie prescience. Seija Rankin,, 2 Nov. 2021 Timbuk3 clearly had great prescience: Just a year after this song’s release, David Pritchard and Steven Chu first trapped atoms in a magneto-optical trap (or MOT) at Bell Labs, laying the foundation for the cold atom revolution to follow. Paul Lipman, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of prescience

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for prescience

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

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Last Updated

4 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Prescience.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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