Word of the Day : April 24, 2016

omniscient

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adjective ahm-NISH-unt

Definition

1 : having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight

2 : possessed of universal or complete knowledge

Did You Know?

One who is omniscient literally knows all. The word omniscient, which has been part of English since at least the beginning of the 17th century, brings together two Latin roots: the prefix omni-, meaning "all," and the verb scire, meaning "to know." You will recognize omni- as the prefix that tells all in such words as omnivorous ("eating all" or, more precisely, "eating both meat and vegetables") and omnipotent ("all-powerful"). Scire likewise has a number of other knowledge-related descendants in English, including conscience, science, and prescience (meaning "foreknowledge").


Examples

The novel opens with an omniscient narrator recalling memories of her twelfth birthday.

"Digital advertisers … are increasingly omniscient: no longer do advertisers know just general things about you—a worldly professional, say, with superb taste in journalism—but they target you, specifically." — The Economist, 26 Mar. 2016



Word Family Quiz

What is the scire-derived word meaning "lack of knowledge or awareness"?

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