soothsayer

noun
sooth·​say·​er | \ ˈsüth-ˌsā-ər , -ˌser\

Definition of soothsayer

: a person who predicts the future by magical, intuitive, or more rational means : prognosticator

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

The origins are straightforward: a soothsayer is someone who says sooth. You may, however, find that less than enlightening! Sooth is an archaic word meaning "truth" or "reality" that dates from Old English and was used until about the first half of the 17th century. (It is believed to share an ancestor with words suggesting truthfulness and reality in Old Norse, Greek, Old High German, Sanskrit, Latin, and Gothic languages.) Soothsayer itself has been documented in print as far back as the 14th century. Today, it is also a moniker of the insect the mantis, whose name means "prophet" in Greek.

Examples of soothsayer in a Sentence

a soothsayer predicted that I would meet the man of my dreams online, assuming of course that I became a subscriber to the Web site's dating service

Recent Examples on the Web

Trump’s onetime soothsayer Steve Bannon is trying to emerge from exile after the president dumped him for his backbiting, leaky ways in the White House. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "No, free market conservatives are not becoming Dems," 31 July 2018 Beauty soothsayer @trendmood1 posted a photo on Instagram of Supreme's supposedly in-the-works red lipstick. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Is Supreme's Rumored Red Lipstick Launching Soon? Fans on Instagram Think So," 27 Aug. 2018 The Carpathian mountains have always had a magical air; the region is home to the country’s last shamans, fortune-tellers and soothsayers who carry on an ancient Eurasian tradition. Linda Kinstler, Longreads, "Angrily Experiencing the Best Days of Our Lives," 27 June 2018 Well, spend much time around the Padres, and the question becomes what the pitchers would do without their guru/sensei/soothsayer and counselor/mentor/teacher/friend. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres pitchers positive Darren Balsley is the best," 16 June 2018 Cassandra: Female, cleaning lady and soothsayer, any age, any race. Courant Community, "Community News For The Enfield Edition," 15 May 2018 He's run many issue campaigns and is Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish's political soothsayer. Mark Naymik, cleveland.com, "CLE Chatter: Shaker Heights' messy library battle; drug-offender amendment to Ohio Constitution getting attention," 20 Apr. 2018 But as the credit crisis unfolded in 2008, the Harvard Ph.D. won sudden acclaim as a financial soothsayer. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Dr. Doom Still Basking in His Fame After Warning of Housing Collapse," 13 Apr. 2018 Wearing a white tunic and skating as a character out of Japanese folklore, Abe no Seimei, a kind of soothsayer and supernatural protector, Hanyu landed a quadruple lutz for the first time in competition. JerÉ Longman, New York Times, "The Greatest Figure Skater Ever Is Michael Jackson on Ice, Surrounded by Winnie the Poohs," 4 Jan. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of soothsayer

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about soothsayer

Share soothsayer

Listen to Our Podcast about soothsayer

Dictionary Entries near soothsayer

soothing

soothless

soothly

soothsayer

soothsaying

sootless

sootlike

Statistics for soothsayer

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for soothsayer

The first known use of soothsayer was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for soothsayer

soothsayer

noun

English Language Learners Definition of soothsayer

old-fashioned : someone who makes predictions about what is going to happen in the future

soothsayer

noun
sooth·​say·​er | \ ˈsüth-ˌsā-ər \

Kids Definition of soothsayer

: a person who claims to foretell events

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on soothsayer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with soothsayer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for soothsayer

Spanish Central: Translation of soothsayer

Nglish: Translation of soothsayer for Spanish Speakers

Comments on soothsayer

What made you want to look up soothsayer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

very full or close together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!