Word Origin & History

1620s, "poet or bard," specifically "Celtic divinely inspired poet" (1728), from L. vates "sooth-sayer, prophet, seer," cognate with O.Ir. faith "poet," Welsh gwawd "poem," O.E. wod "mad, frenzied" (see wood (adj.)). Hence vaticination "oracular prediction" (c.1600).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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