1 : to give an omen or warning of : foreshadow
2 : foretell, predict
3 : to make or utter a prediction
Did You Know?
The verb "presage" was predated by a noun "presage," meaning "omen." Both forms derive from the Latin prefix "prae-" combined with the adjective "sagus," meaning "prophetic." "Foretell," "predict," "forecast," "prophesy," and "presage" all mean "to tell beforehand." "Foretell" applies to telling of a future event by any procedure or any source of information ("seers foretold the calamity"). "Predict" commonly implies inference from facts or accepted laws of nature ("astronomers predicted an eclipse"). "Forecast" implies anticipating eventualities and is usually concerned with probabilities ("to forecast snow"). "Prophesy" connotes inspired or mystic knowledge of the future ("prophesying a new messiah"). "Presage" may apply to suggesting a coming event or indicating its likelihood.
The sudden gloom and ominous dark clouds clearly presaged a nasty storm.
"While people debate the merits of building so high so quickly-there's evidence that tall buildings often presage an economic collapse-we wanted to take a look at other buildings that deserve browser time." - From a staff article on CNN.com, August 6th, 2013
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Fill in the blanks to create another synonym of "presage": ponsiae. The answer is …
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