Word of the Day

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

presage

\PRES-ij; pri-SEYJ\ , noun;
1.
An indication or warning of a future event; an omen.
2.
A feeling or intuition of what the future holds.
3.
Prophetic significance.
4.
[Archaic] A prediction; a prognostication.
transitive verb:
1.
To indicate or warn of beforehand; to foreshadow.
2.
To have a presentiment of.
3.
To predict; to foretell.
intransitive verb:
1.
To make or utter a prediction.
Quotes:
Although the enlightenment and liberation which had been expected to come after the war had not come with victory, a presage of freedom was in the air throughout these post-war years, and it was their only historical meaning.
-- Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago
Never before, perhaps, in the history of the world, was an hour so fateful, so full of presage, as the present. Big with starting possibilities, unfolding vistas of unimagined boldness and beauty, it speaks with a very trumpet-call of eternally recreative energy to us "upon whom the ends of the world are come."
-- Clara M. Codd, Looking Forward
It [the comet] had been there for some time, said Todd, "and for the Sherpas it presaged things not going terribly well." A superstition, yes, thought Todd, but a matter of serious concern, because the people who knew the mountain best said it mattered.
-- Anatoli Boukreev and G. Weston DeWalt, The Climb
Earlier in the day a supply teacher I had never seen before sat down a few chairs away with the happy ostentatious sigh that invariably presages an invasion of privacy.
-- Michael Foley, Getting Used to Not Being Remarkable
Warhol, a wigged-out psychic, had presaged the whole thing.
-- Phoebe Hoban, Basquiat
Origin:
Presage is derived from Latin praesagium, "presentiment," from praesagus "having a presentiment," from prae-, "before" + sagus, "prophetic."
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