vatic

adjective

vat·​ic ˈva-tik How to pronounce vatic (audio)

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Vatic Has Latin Roots

Some people say only thin lines separate poetry, prophecy, and madness. We don't know if that's generally true, but it is in the case of vatic. The adjective derives directly from the Latin word vates, meaning "seer" or "prophet." But that Latin root is, in turn, distantly related to the Old English wōth, meaning "poetry," the Old High German wuot, meaning "madness," and the Old Irish fáith, meaning both "seer" and "poet."

Examples of vatic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web McCarthy in afflatus mode is magnificent, vatic, wasteful, hammy. James Wood, The New Yorker, 7 Dec. 2022 Stone’s fiction abounds with Delphic oracles and vatic pronouncements like this. Scott Bradfield, The New Republic, 20 May 2020

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

Word History

Etymology

Latin vātēs, vātis "prophet, seer" (akin to Gaulish—Greek spelling—ouā́ teis "those performing sacred rites," Old Irish fáith "seer, prophet," fáth "prophecy, prophetic wisdom," Welsh gwawd "song of praise, satire"; Gothic wods "possessed," Old English wōd "raging, senseless," Old Norse óðr "frantic, furious," all going back to Germanic *wōd-; Old High German wuot "rage, frenzy," going back to Germanic *wōdi-; Old English wōth "sound, noise, voice, song," Old Norse óðr "mind, sense, song, poetry," both going back to Germanic *wōþa-) + -ic entry 1

First Known Use

1603, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vatic was in 1603

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Dictionary Entries Near vatic

Cite this Entry

“Vatic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vatic. Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

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