Definition of prescient in English:



  • Having or showing knowledge of events before they take place:

    ‘a prescient warning’
    • ‘He proved prescient in his argument that efforts to help the Third World by avalanches of aid would only ruin local markets and nourish corruption.’
    • ‘A few months later, I recall rereading it and finding it scary and prescient.’
    • ‘He was even, by the way, prescient about the meltdown of the Soviet Union.’
    • ‘Although no-one has ever followed through on its promises, Radio Ethiopia still sounds astonishingly prescient.’
    • ‘But as I read on, it became apparent that the novel was so prescient it became unnerving.’
    • ‘It's a little bit scary being such a gifted, prescient individual.’
    • ‘Orwell's attacks on pacifism now seem remarkably prescient.’
    • ‘This proved to be a prescient warning in the case of his son John.’
    • ‘This was an astonishingly prescient insight into what was actually to occur in the Russian Revolution.’
    • ‘This reveals a prescient insight into the mindset which fuels Connery's anger.’
    • ‘His study of America amply confirmed this prescient intuition and made him the first anthropologist of modern equality.’
    • ‘Fitzgerald's prediction is as meaningful today as it was prescient in 1924.’
    • ‘It was a prescient point: 10 years on we got the Battle of Seattle.’
    • ‘Read it, then come back and re-read this prescient post from last November.’
    • ‘That prediction looks even more prescient since the surge in oil prices.’
    • ‘It makes no mention at all of White's passionate and prescient warnings.’
    • ‘He came to the fore with a thundering and prescient prediction of the break-up of Britain, coinciding with the Silver Jubilee.’
    • ‘A beautiful and talented actress, Dorrie ends up in a psychiatric ward, a narrative which seems extraordinarily prescient.’
    • ‘We take no pleasure in that, and we had to endure some criticism for making such claims, but the warnings proved prescient.’
    • ‘His last post before the incident is scarily prescient.’
    prophetic, predictive, visionary
    psychic, clairvoyant
    far-seeing, far-sighted, with foresight, prognostic, divinatory, oracular, sibylline, apocalyptic, fateful, revelatory
    insightful, intuitive, perceptive, percipient
    foreknowing, previsional, vatic, mantic, vaticinal, vaticinatory, prognosticative, augural, adumbrative, fatidic, fatidical, haruspical, pythonic
    View synonyms


Early 17th century: from Latin praescient- knowing beforehand, from the verb praescire, from prae before + scire know.