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

Definition of prognosticate

transitive verb

1 : to foretell from signs or symptoms : predict
2 : to give an indication of in advance : foreshadow

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Other Words from prognosticate

prognosticative \ präg-​ˈnä-​stə-​ˌkā-​tiv How to pronounce prognosticate (audio) \ adjective
prognosticator \ präg-​ˈnä-​stə-​ˌkā-​tər How to pronounce prognosticate (audio) \ noun

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

Did You Know?

Prognosticate, which comes from the Greek prognōstikos (foretelling), first appeared 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. Shakespeare used the prophesy sense of prognosticate in the sonnet that begins Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck:

"From thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And constant stars in them I read such art
...of thee this I prognosticate,
Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date."

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 The Financial Times organized the conference, inviting a lineup of modern-day oracles—the CEO of a health care startup, a professor of economics, a machine-learning expert, and Chen—to prognosticate about the near future. Yi-ling Liu, Wired, "Sci-Fi Writer or Prophet? The Hyperreal Life of Chen Qiufan," 9 Mar. 2021 The next step in the historic impeachment of President Trump has been looming for almost a month now, and after all the strategizing, prognosticating and negotiating, the pieces are finally falling into place for a Senate trial. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for January 14: Impeachment, Iran, 2020 race, Niger, teacher protest," 14 Jan. 2020 An unanticipated problem was encountered, check back soon and try again With the premiere of Survivor: Winners at War just a few weeks away on Feb. 12, fans are already prognosticating and predicting what will happen on the show’s 40th season. Dalton Ross,, "Survivor: Winners at War cast makes bold predictions for season 40," 23 Jan. 2020 Like the latter set of nominees, the actors selected by their peers aren’t very likely to surprise those who have been keeping up with award prognosticating this year. Toni Collette, Washington Post, "The 5 biggest takeaways from the SAG Award nominations, from ‘Bombshell’ dominance to ‘Little Women’ snubs," 11 Dec. 2019 My key stat for prognosticating the Rockies pitching season is watching the first couple months of the season and seeing how many innings are pitched by the bullpen. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies Mailbag: General manager Jeff Bridich might have to become a “wheeler dealer” this offseason," 23 Oct. 2019 Skip to main content SportsPulse: Paul Myerberg prognosticates that Michigan and Auburn could join the national conversation with bigs wins this weekend. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "NCAA's $208.7 million in legal settlement money finally reaching athletes' mailboxes," 4 Oct. 2019 Models originally prognosticated that a wave of low pressure would throw a deck of cloud cover over the coastline. Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, "A total solar eclipse Tuesday will plunge a 6,800-mile path into midday darkness," 1 July 2019 When the zoo's most recent groundhog, Wynter, died in 2017, polar bear Snow Lilly performed the duties normally handled by a prognosticating rodent this past February. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Awwww! Milwaukee zoo announces arrival of adorable baby groundhog. And he loves broccoli.," 24 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of prognosticate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Last Updated

12 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Prognosticate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for prognosticate


transitive verb
prog·​nos·​ti·​cate | \ präg-ˈnäs-tə-ˌkāt How to pronounce prognosticate (audio) \
prognosticated; prognosticating

Medical Definition of prognosticate

: to make a prognosis about the probable outcome of

Other Words from prognosticate

prognostication \ -​ˌnäs-​tə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce prognosticate (audio) \ noun

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