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[presh-uh ns, -ee-uh ns, pree-shuh ns, -shee-uh ns] /ˈprɛʃ əns, -i əns, ˈpri ʃəns, -ʃi əns/
knowledge of things before they exist or happen; foreknowledge; foresight.
Origin of prescience
1325-75; Middle English < Late Latin praescientia foreknowledge. See pre-, science
Related forms
prescient, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for prescience
  • Lewis is delighted but not surprised by her own prescience.
  • Investigators will try to find out who it was that showed such sinister prescience.
  • prescience about a disaster doesn't make dealing with its consequences any easier.
  • His prescience was aided by the police and fire department shortwave radios he installed near his bed.
  • Starting a new exchange does not give a country's population any prescience about market movements.
  • He was a writer of towering vision, prescience and existential cool.
  • Admiration for the past mingles with prescience of the future.
  • But there is terrific prescience to be found in its portrait of times past.
  • His prescience about the overall situation is nothing less than astonishing.
  • Nothing solidifies the reputation of a spy novelist so much as prescience.
British Dictionary definitions for prescience


knowledge of events before they take place; foreknowledge
Derived Forms
prescient, adjective
presciently, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin praescīre to foreknow, from prae before + scīre to know
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 prescience

late 14c., from Old French prescience (13c.) and directly from Late Latin praescientia "fore-knowledge," from *praescientem, present participle of *praescire "to know in advance," from Latin prae "before" (see pre-) + scire "to know" (see science).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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