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[pree-muh-nish-uh n, prem-uh-] /ˌpri məˈnɪʃ ən, ˌprɛm ə-/
a feeling of anticipation of or anxiety over a future event; presentiment:
He had a vague premonition of danger.
a forewarning.
Origin of premonition
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English premunicioun (cf. praemunire) < Late Latin praemonitiōn- (stem of praemonitiō) forewarning. See pre-, monition
1. foreboding, portent, omen, sign. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for premonition
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nor had he any premonition that in the near future he and his host of the evening would be engaged in a life and death struggle.

    Hidden Gold Wilder Anthony
  • I cried, leaping to my feet, a premonition of what he was about turning me cold with horror.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • This is an expression of the men on the Western Front when they have a premonition that their time on earth is short.

    S.O.S. Stand to! Reginald Grant
  • And Pilot O'Malley watched him go with a premonition that he dared not speak.

    The Finding of Haldgren Charles Willard Diffin
  • Yet he was disconcerted by the premonition that her interpretation of what he had done would not be his.

    Narcissus Evelyn Scott
British Dictionary definitions for premonition


an intuition of a future, usually unwelcome, occurrence; foreboding
an early warning of a future event; forewarning
Derived Forms
premonitory (prɪˈmɒnɪtərɪ; -trɪ) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin praemonitiō, from Latin praemonēre to admonish beforehand, from prae before + monēre to warn, advise
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 premonition

mid-15c., from Anglo-French premunition, Middle French premonicion, from Late Latin praemonitionem (nominative praemonitio) "a forewarning," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin praemonere "forewarn," from prae "before" (see pre-) + monere "to warn" (see monitor (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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