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[div-uh-ney-shuh n] /ˌdɪv əˈneɪ ʃən/
the practice of attempting to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge by occult or supernatural means.
augury; prophecy:
The divination of the high priest was fulfilled.
perception by intuition; instinctive foresight.
Origin of divination
1350-1400; Middle English divinacioun (< Anglo-French) < Latin dīvīnātiōn- (stem of dīvīnātiō), equivalent to dīvīnāt(us), past participle of dīvīnāre to soothsay (dīvīn- divine + -ātus -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
[dih-vin-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /dɪˈvɪn əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for divination
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He offered to go through that divination process again in our presence and demonstrate that there was no mistake.

    Allan and the Holy Flower H. Rider Haggard
  • Second sight is the term that is used for the divination of the highlanders.

  • The various arts employed by the ancients in divination were many.

    Finger-Ring Lore William Jones
  • Knight, Andrew:—On the divination of flowers, 108;theory of cross-fertilization, 115.

    My Studio Neighbors William Hamilton Gibson
  • divination as practised by means of augury was a rite of the first importance among the Babylonians and Assyrians.

  • It could not have been a divination, therefore it must have been some obscure phenomenon of memory.

    The Child of Pleasure Gabriele D'Annunzio
  • Perhaps the effect would be not unlike that described by Cicero in his treatise on divination.

    The Myths and Fables of To-Day Samuel Adams Drake
  • I had a positive aversion to all pretenders to "divination."

    My Bondage and My Freedom Frederick Douglass
  • The method of use is confined to four pages and recommends that divination should be performed in a fasting state.

British Dictionary definitions for divination


the art, practice, or gift of discerning or discovering future events or unknown things, as though by supernatural powers
a prophecy
a presentiment or guess
Derived Forms
divinatory (dɪˈvɪnətərɪ; -trɪ) adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for divination

late 14c., from Old French divination (13c.), from Latin divinationem (nominative divinatio) "the power of foreseeing, prediction," noun of action from past participle stem of divinare, literally "to be inspired by a god" (see divine (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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divination in the Bible

of false prophets (Deut. 18:10, 14; Micah 3:6, 7, 11), of necromancers (1 Sam. 28:8), of the Philistine priests and diviners (1 Sam. 6:2), of Balaam (Josh. 13:22). Three kinds of divination are mentioned in Ezek. 21:21, by arrows, consulting with images (the teraphim), and by examining the entrails of animals sacrificed. The practice of this art seems to have been encouraged in ancient Egypt. Diviners also abounded among the aborigines of Canaan and the Philistines (Isa. 2:6; 1 Sam. 28). At a later period multitudes of magicians poured from Chaldea and Arabia into the land of Israel, and pursued their occupations (Isa. 8:19; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chr. 33:6). This superstition widely spread, and in the time of the apostles there were "vagabond Jews, exorcists" (Acts 19:13), and men like Simon Magus (Acts 8:9), Bar-jesus (13:6, 8), and other jugglers and impostors (19:19; 2 Tim. 3:13). Every species and degree of this superstition was strictly forbidden by the law of Moses (Ex. 22:18; Lev. 19:26, 31; 20:27; Deut. 18:10, 11). But beyond these various forms of superstition, there are instances of divination on record in the Scriptures by which God was pleased to make known his will. (1.) There was divination by lot, by which, when resorted to in matters of moment, and with solemnity, God intimated his will (Josh. 7:13). The land of Canaan was divided by lot (Num. 26:55, 56); Achan's guilt was detected (Josh. 7:16-19), Saul was elected king (1 Sam. 10:20, 21), and Matthias chosen to the apostleship, by the solem lot (Acts 1:26). It was thus also that the scape-goat was determined (Lev. 16:8-10). (2.) There was divination by dreams (Gen. 20:6; Deut. 13:1, 3; Judg. 7:13, 15; Matt. 1:20; 2:12, 13, 19, 22). This is illustrated in the history of Joseph (Gen. 41:25-32) and of Daniel (2:27; 4:19-28). (3.) By divine appointment there was also divination by the Urim and Thummim (Num. 27:21), and by the ephod. (4.) God was pleased sometimes to vouch-safe direct vocal communications to men (Deut. 34:10; Ex. 3:4; 4:3; Deut. 4:14, 15; 1 Kings 19:12). He also communed with men from above the mercy-seat (Ex. 25:22), and at the door of the tabernacle (Ex. 29:42, 43). (5.) Through his prophets God revealed himself, and gave intimations of his will (2 Kings 13:17; Jer. 51:63, 64).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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