va·​tic·​i·​na·​tion | \ və-ˌti-sə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce vaticination (audio) , va- \

Definition of vaticination

2 : the act of prophesying

Did you know?

When George Orwell's novel 1984 was published in the late 1940s, a displeased critic said it broke "all records for gloomy vaticination." (In Orwell's favor, another critic asserted, "It is impossible to put the book down.") While it's about as difficult to predict the future of a word as the future of the world, hindsight reveals that "vaticination" has endured better than other words based on Latin vates, meaning "prophet." "Vaticinian" (prophetic), "vaticinar" (prophet), "vaticinatress" (prophetess), and "vaticiny" (prophesy) have all faded into obscurity (although two synonyms of "prophetic," "vatic" and "vaticinal," also keep the "vates" lineage alive today).

Examples of vaticination in a Sentence

the myopic prewar vaticinations that the conflict would be brief and relatively painless

First Known Use of vaticination

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vaticination

borrowed from Latin vāticinātiōn-, vāticinātiō, from vāticinārī "to make divinely inspired predictions, prophesy" + -tiōn-, tiō deverbal noun suffix — more at vaticinate

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The first known use of vaticination was in 1603

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Cite this Entry

“Vaticination.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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