Word of the Day Archive
Friday August 13, 2004
presentiment \prih-ZEN-tuh-muhnt\ , noun:
A sense that something will or is about to happen; a premonition.
He'd had a presentiment of this. Yes, he had known that this was precisely what would be said.
-- Nina Berberova, Cape of Storms (translated by Marian Schwartz)
High ranking North Korean officers had "only the barest presentiment" of hostilities until the final orders were issued for the attack.
-- Nicholas Eberstadt, The End of North Korea
Lituma pictured the blank faces and icy narrow eyes that the people in Naccos . . . would all turn toward him when he asked if they knew the whereabouts of this woman's husband, and he felt the same discouragement and helplessness he had experienced earlier when he tried to question them about the other men who were missing: heads shaking no, monosyllables, evasive glances, frowns, pursed lips, a presentiment of menace.
-- Mario Vargas Llosa, Death in the Andes
Presentiment derives from Latin praesentire, "to feel beforehand," from prae-, "before" + sentire, "to feel."