presentiment

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French pressentiment, from Middle French.

Noun[edit]

presentiment (plural presentiments)

  1. A premonition; a feeling that something, often of undesirable nature, is going to happen.
    • 1817 December, [Jane Austen], chapter II, in Northanger Abbey; published in Northanger Abbey: And Persuasion. [...] With a Biographical Notice of the Author. In Four Volumes, volume I, London: John Murray, Albemarle-Street, 1818, OCLC 318384910:
      A thousand alarming presentiments of evil to her beloved Catherine from this terrific separation must oppress her heart with sadness, and drown her in tears for the last day or two of their being together; []
    • 1891, Oscar Wilde, chapter XVIII, in The Picture of Dorian Gray:
      This unfortunate accident has upset me. I have a horrible presentiment that something of the kind may happen to me.
    • 1973, Sidney Sheldon, The Other Side of Midnight:
      Everything on the surface appeared to be just as it ought to be. And yet Constantin Demiris still felt that vague sense of unease, a presentiment of trouble.

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