Word of the Day

Monday, September 27, 1999

prescience

\PREE-shuns; PREE-shee-uns; PRESH-uns; PRESH-ee-uns; PREE-see-uns; PRES-ee-uns\ , noun;
1.
Knowledge of events before they take place; foresight.
--prescientadjective
Quotes:
But you could not fault his prescience in 1980 when he [Arthur Seldon] wrote: "China will go capitalist. Soviet Russia will not survive the century. Labour as we know it will never rule again. Socialism is an irrelevance."
-- "Prophet of privatisation puts money on Major - well, £2.50 of it", Electronic Telegraph, March 28, 1997
Critics and historians have written admiringly of Dostoyevsky's acuity at forecasting the nature of the political turmoil that would envelop Russia over the next 100 years; Ms. Egloff, too, pays homage to the novelist's prescience.
-- "Plotters and Snoops in Old Russia", New York Times, May 23, 1998
As a professor, he earned a reputation for prescience when he returned an examination to a student named John Grisham with the comment, "Although you missed most of the legal issues, you have a real talent for fiction."
-- "The Final Refrains of 'Dixie'", New York Times, November 11, 1998
Origin:
Prescience is from Latin praescientia, from praescio, praescire, to know beforehand, from prae, before + scio, scire, to know.
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