Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Prescience

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is prescience. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Prescience is the ability to see or anticipate what will or might happen in the future.

// Stacy had the prescience to know that the stock’s value wasn’t going to remain high forever, and she managed to sell it just before it started to decrease.


“As the author of some of the most searing indictments of the damage governments and people can do, George Orwell has become synonymous with the kind of prescience most artists only dream of.” — Clarke Reader, The Elbert County News(Kiowa, Colorado), 16 Mar. 2022

Did You Know?

If you know the origin of science you already know half the story of prescience. Science comes from the Latin verb sciō, scīre, “to know,” also source of such words as conscience, conscious, and omniscience. Prescience has as its ancestor a word that attached prae-, a predecessor of pre-, to this root to make praescire, meaning “to know beforehand.”

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