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Learned borrowing from Late Latin prognōsis (forecast, prediction; forecast of the course and outcome of a disease), itself borrowed from Ancient Greek πρόγνωσις (prógnōsis, forecast of the course and outcome of a disease; (Koine) foreknowledge, perceiving beforehand, prediction), from προ- (pro-, prefix meaning ‘before; beforehand’) + γνῶσῐς (gnôsis, inquiry, investigation; knowledge).[1]

The plural prognoses is a learned borrowing from Late Latin prognōsēs.



prognosis (plural prognoses)

  1. A forecast of the future course or outcome of a situation based on what is presently known; a prediction. [from mid 17th c.]
    • 1879, Bret Harte, “‘A Tourist from Injianny’”, in An Heiress of Red Dog and Other Tales, London: Chatto & Windus, [], →OCLC, page 54:
      I may say here that it is one of the evidences of original character, that it is apt to baffle all prognosis from a mere observer's standpoint.
    • 1963 September, “The Potential of a Railway”, in Modern Railways, Shepperton, Surrey: Ian Allan Publishing, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 145:
      Despite the positive, constructive aspects of the Beeching Report, the gloomy prognoses on B.R. which issued from so many commentators prior to its publication have left a widespread impression that the railway is an outdated concept.
    • 2000, N. V. Vegerova, “Predicting Strength Properties of Fine Cementless Fly Ash – Furnace Bottom Ash Concrete”, in G[uy] R. Woolley, J. J. J. M. Goumans, P. J. Wainwright, editors, Waste Materials in Construction: Science and Engineering of Recycling for Environmental Protection (Waste Management Series; 1), Kidlington, Oxfordshire: Pergamon, →ISBN, page 19:
      The prognosis was made by taking into consideration the facts that the analog concrete had already achieved its ultimate strength by the period of 1500 days while concrete being predicted was to gain its strength limit by 1.25 time faster, that is by the period of 100 days.
    • 2008, Paul Fairfield, “Conclusion and Prognosis”, in Why Democracy?, Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, →ISBN, page 123:
      If free speech is the lifeblood of democracy then the fate and the prognosis of the latter are that of the former.
  2. (medicine) A forecast of the future course or outcome of a disease or disorder based on current medical knowledge. [from mid 17th c.]
    • 1655, Lazarus Riverius [i.e., Lazare Rivière], “Of a Pestilential Feaver”, in Nicholas Culpeper, Abdiah Cole, and William Rowland, transl., The Practice of Physick, [], London: [] Peter Cole, [], →OCLC, 17th book (Of Feavers), section III (Of Pestilential Feavers), page 637:
      Hovvbeit it is to be noted (vvhich vve hinted in the prognoſis) that the ſvvelling doth often appear critically and profitably, and thereby the ſick are recovered of their diſeaſes; []
    • 1848, John Neill, Francis Gurney Smith, “Rubeola (Measles)”, in A Handbook of the Practice of Medicine: Being a Portion of an Analytical Compend of the Various Branches of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa.: Lea & Blanchard, →OCLC, page 33:
      The prognosis [of measles] is unfavourable when the child is very young, when the eruption appears before the third day, or when it suddenly disappears. [] The prognosis is favourable when the gastro-pulmonary symptoms are slight, the progress of the disease is regular, and when the skin is moist after the appearance of the exanthema.
    • 1986, Constance S. Kirkpatrick, Nurses’ Guide to Cancer Care, Totowa, N.J.: Rowman & Littlefield, →ISBN, page 132:
      Once the patient has worked through the stage of grieving at diagnosis, adjustment may be successful as therapy is begun and a prognosis is determined.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ prognosis, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2022; prognosis, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading[edit]



Borrowed from Ancient Greek πρόγνωσις (prógnōsis, forecast of the course and outcome of a disease; (Koine) foreknowledge, perceiving beforehand, prediction).



prognōsis f (genitive prognōsis); third declension

  1. forecast, prediction


Third-declension noun (i-stem).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative prognōsis prognōsēs
Genitive prognōsis prognōsium
Dative prognōsī prognōsibus
Accusative prognōsem prognōsēs
Ablative prognōse prognōsibus
Vocative prognōsis prognōsēs