August 28, 2011
- prescience (noun)
- What does it mean?
- : foreknowledge of events : human anticipation of the course of events : foresight
- How do you use it?
- Grandma has uncanny prescience of her town's first snowfall, and always predicts the right date.
- Are you a word wiz?
One of the following scenarios is an example of "prescience." Which one do you think it is?We knew ahead of time that some of you would pick A. If you know what your homework will be before your teacher assigns it, you have prescience. When "prescience" was first used in the 14th century, it referred to the kind of foreknowledge that a god has. Not long after that, however, the word was used to refer to the knowledge humans sometimes have about the future, like when they sense that something good or bad is about to happen. "Prescience" traces back to the Latin word "praescire," meaning "to know beforehand." "Preascire" itself is an offspring of "scire," meaning "to know," also the root word of "science."