pro·​phet·​ic prə-ˈfe-tik How to pronounce prophetic (audio)
variants or less commonly prophetical
: of, relating to, or characteristic of a prophet or prophecy
: foretelling events : predictive
prophetically adverb

Examples of prophetic in a Sentence

the prophetic books of the Old Testament in retrospect, those lower-than-expected sales numbers were a prophetic indicator of the financial trouble the company would soon be in
Recent Examples on the Web My niece is quoting the great poet Audre Lorde, but Ms. Lorde, though prophetic, wasn’t running a nonprofit. Anna Deavere Smith, The Atlantic, 13 Nov. 2023 Published in 1918, the American intellectual’s autobiography is an idiosyncratic record of a man’s development in the modern world that still possesses a prophetic power. John Wilmerding, WSJ, 25 Aug. 2023 The spotlight trained on Little Simz at the Fillmore Silver Spring gilded the British Nigerian rapper like a prophetic figure in an illuminated scripture. Teta Alim, Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2023 And that’s without even getting into the clone army or the prophetic camera or the weird new teacher or decades-long mystery binding their families together. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Oct. 2023 That warning proved prophetic last week as the lake sent water rushing down into the valley below. Krishna Pokharel, WSJ, 8 Oct. 2023 Once ostracized and called a witch, she is now considered prophetic and gifted, and the people in her town flock to her for good luck. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 9 Sep. 2023 Ross is almost startlingly prophetic in some passages. Jim Sleeper, The New Republic, 4 Sep. 2023 Icke clearly wants to turn Schnitzler’s prophetic drama into a state-of-the-world debate—exposing not just the venality of Ruth’s fellow-doctors, such as the self-serving Hardiman (Naomi Wirthner), but also a larger panic around identity politics. Helen Shaw, The New Yorker, 26 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prophetic.' 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 prophetyk, borrowed from Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French prophetique, borrowed from Late Latin prophēticus, borrowed from Greek prophētikós, from prophḗtēs prophet + -ikos -ic entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near prophetic

Cite this Entry

“Prophetic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


pro·​phet·​ic prə-ˈfet-ik How to pronounce prophetic (audio)
variants or prophetical
: of or relating to a prophet or prophecy
prophetically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on prophetic

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