From Late Latin praescient, third-person plural future active indicative of (or from praesciēns (“foreknowing; foretelling, predicting”), present participle of) Latin praesciō (“to foreknow”), from prae- (prefix meaning ‘before; in front’) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *preh₂- (“before; in front”)) + sciō (“to know, understand; to have knowledge of”) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *skey- (“to dissect; to split”)). The word is cognate with Middle French prescient (modern French prescient (“prescient”)), Italian presciente (“prescient”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈpɹɛsɪənt/, (dated) /ˈpɹiːʃɪənt/
Audio (RP) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈpɹɛʃ(i)ənt/
- Hyphenation: pre‧scient
- Exhibiting or possessing prescience: having knowledge of, or seemingly able to correctly predict, events before they take place. [from early 17th c.]
- Synonyms: clairvoyant, foreknowing, foreseeing, prescious (obsolete), prescientific (rare), prevoyant
- Antonym: unforeseeing
- 1733–1734, Stephen Duck, A Poem on the Marriage of His Serene Highness the Prince of Orange with Ann Princess-royal of Great Britain. […], London: Printed for Weaver Bickerton […], OCLC 15632117, page 7:
- 1753, Virgil; Christopher Pitt, transl., “Virgil’s Æneid. The Seventh Book.”, in [Joseph Warton], editor, The Works of Virgil, in Latin and English. […], volume III, London: Printed for R[obert] Dodsley […], OCLC 931345126, lines 103–104, page 283:
- Mean time the king, aſtoniſh'd at the ſign, / Haſtes to conſult his præſcient ſire divine.
- , William Grisenthwaite, Sleep, a Poem in Two Books, with Other Miscellaneous Poems, […], Lynn: Printed for the author, by W. G. Whittingham, and sold by R. Baldwin, […], OCLC 38938371, book I, lines 77–79, page 5:
- Benignant Heaven, præscient and kind, / Made man for toil, and left sweet Sleep behind, / To nerve the arm which labour had unstrung— […]
- 1832, Jedadiah Cleishbotham [pseudonym; Walter Scott], chapter XIII, in Tales of My Landlord, Fourth and Last Series. [...] In Four Volumes, volume II (Count Robert of Paris), Edinburgh: Printed [by Ballantyne and Company] for Robert Cadell; London: Whittaker and Co., OCLC 81177709, pages 310–311:
- It seems that human nature, when its original habits are cultivated and attended to, possesses something upon the same occasion of that prescient foreboding, which announces the approaching tempest to the inferior ranks of creation.
- 1859 November 26 – 1860 August 25, [William] Wilkie Collins, “The Narrative of Walter Hartright, of Clement’s Inn, London”, in The Woman in White. A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, Franklin Square, published 1860, OCLC 558180353, part I, section IX, page 29, column 2:
- The kind sorrowful blue eyes looked at me for a moment with the prescient sadness of a coming and a long farewell.
- 1960 August 24, Roy Emile Jack, “Business of the House—Urgency”, in Parliamentary Debates (Hansard): Fourth Session, Thirty-second Parliament: House of Representatives, volume 323, Wellington: R. E. Owen, government printer, OCLC 191255532, page 1740:
- Members opposite seem to be prescient; they seem to know what I am going to say before I have said it.
- 2018 January 28, Dafydd Pritchard, “Cardiff City 1 – 1 Manchester City”, in BBC Sport, archived from the original on 17 March 2018:
- [Neil] Warnock described City as the best team in Europe in the build-up to this match and joked that his players had been preparing for the game – and City's inevitable dominance – by training without a ball. It proved to be a prescient quip, as the home side had to toil for long periods, struggling to lay a glove on their stylish opponents.