Word of the Day

Friday, August 30, 2002

prescient

\PREH-shuhnt; -shee-uhnt; PREE-shuhnt; -shee-uhnt\ , adjective;
1.
Knowing or anticipating the outcome of events before they happen.
Quotes:
Despite Carroll's unfamiliarity with military matters he had an astonishingly prescient view of how the war for independence would be fought and won.
-- Richard M. Ketchum, Saratoga: Turning Point of America's Revolutionary War
As England finally moves to undo its legal and political separation from Europe, over 400 years after Henry VIII began it, it is easier to see More as perhaps prescient, rather than reactionary.
-- Andrew Sullivan, "Public Man, Public Faith," review of The Life of Thomas More, New York Times, October 25, 1998
The skepticism of Socrates about the application of physical theories to human thought and behavior has proved to be extraordinarily prescient.
-- John Horgan, The Undiscovered Mind: How the Human Brain Defies Replication, Medication, and Explanation
Suddenly, the tech bubble burst, layoffs were hitting Silicon Valley, the warnings of "irrational exuberance" in the stock market proved prescient.
-- Robin Toner, "Those Were the Days," review of The Best of Times, review of The Best of Times in New York Times, October 28, 2001
Origin:
Prescient derives (via French) from the Latin præsciens, præscient-, present participle of præscire "to know before": præ-, "before" (see pre-) + scire, "to know." It is related to science.
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