va·​tic·​i·​na·​tion | \və-ˌti-sə-ˈnā-shən, va-\

Definition of vaticination 

2 : the act of prophesying

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vaticination

Share vaticination

Listen to Our Podcast about vaticination

Statistics for vaticination

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vaticination

The first known use of vaticination was in 1603

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on vaticination

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vaticination

Comments on vaticination

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


living or existing for a long time

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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