< Latin praedictus,
past participle of praedīcere
to foretell, equivalent to prae- pre-
variant stem of dīcere
to say + -tus
past participle suffix; see dictum
predictable, adjectivepredictability, nounmispredict, verbunpredicted, adjectiveunpredicting, adjective
presage, divine, augur, project, prognosticate, portend. Predict, prophesy, foresee, forecast
mean to know or tell (usually correctly) beforehand what will happen. To predict
is usually to foretell with precision of calculation, knowledge, or shrewd inference from facts or experience: The astronomers can predict an eclipse;
it may, however, be used without the implication of underlying knowledge or expertise: I predict she'll be a success at the party. Prophesy
usually means to predict future events by the aid of divine or supernatural inspiration: Merlin prophesied the two knights would meet in conflict;
this verb, too, may be used in a more general, less specific sense. I prophesy he'll be back in the old job.
refers specifically not to the uttering of predictions but to the mental act of seeing ahead; there is often (but not always) a practical implication of preparing for what will happen: He was clever enough to foresee this shortage of materials. Forecast
has much the same meaning as predict;
it is used today particularly of the weather and other phenomena that cannot easily be accurately predicted: Rain and snow are forecast for tonight. Economists forecast a rise in family income.