prog·​nos·​ti·​cate präg-ˈnä-stə-ˌkāt How to pronounce prognosticate (audio)
prognosticated; prognosticating

transitive verb

: to foretell from signs or symptoms : predict
: to give an indication of in advance : foreshadow
prognosticative adjective
prognosticator noun

Did you know?

Prognosticate, which comes from the Greek prognōstikos ("foretelling"), first appears in English during the 15th century. Since that time, prognosticate has been connected with things that give omens or warnings of events to come and with people who can prophesy or predict the future by such signs. William Shakespeare used the "prophesy" sense of prognosticate in the sonnet that begins "Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck." "Of thee this I prognosticate," the Bard penned, "Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date."

Choose the Right Synonym for prognosticate

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 prognosticate in a Sentence

using current trends to prognosticate what the workplace of the future will be like
Recent Examples on the Web Awards season for films is starting in earnest with festivals, prognosticating, and Vulture’s Movie Fantasy League all in full swing. Vulture, 4 Oct. 2023 Over the years, more than a few armchair critics have prognosticated the demise of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, also affectionately known as East Timor. Agio Pereira, Foreign Affairs, 26 Aug. 2014 Still, that doesn’t stop analysts, and even companies themselves, from taking a stab at prognosticating. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 26 June 2023 This enhancement facilitated through a blend of AI and human cycling experts, highlighted which riders had gone too hard and which might still have something left in the tank, pulling viewers more deeply into the race and the riders’ strain and prognosticating winners and losers. Quartz Creative For The Ey Organization, Quartz, 27 Apr. 2023 After a 6-7 start in the first baker's dozen of games, the defending champions look more mortal than many prognosticated in the early spring. Michael Shapiro, Chron, 13 Apr. 2023 Because of his stature in Silicon Valley, Dr. Moore was often called on to prognosticate about the future of science and technology. Kathleen Day, Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2023 Don't be seduced by those who claim to be able to prognosticate, instead be proactive about how to keep yourself safe during an earthquake. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 18 Jan. 2018 Trying to prognosticate about which volcanoes might erupt is about as predictable as who will make this year's baseball playoffs. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 5 Jan. 2016 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of prognosticate was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near prognosticate

Cite this Entry

“Prognosticate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


prog·​nos·​ti·​cate präg-ˈnäs-tə-ˌkāt How to pronounce prognosticate (audio)
prognosticated; prognosticating
prognosticator noun

Medical Definition


transitive verb
prog·​nos·​ti·​cate präg-ˈnäs-tə-ˌkāt How to pronounce prognosticate (audio)
prognosticated; prognosticating
: to make a prognosis about the probable outcome of
prognostication noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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