Monday, March 21, 2011


Prescience \PREE-shuns\ or \PREE-shee-uns\ or \PRESH-uns\ or \PRESH-ee-uns\ or \PREE-see-uns\ or
PRES-ee-uns\ , noun;
1. Knowledge of events before they take place; foresight

This word dates to the late 14th century and comes from Late Latin praescientia ("fore-knowledge"), which derives from *praescientem, the present participle of *praescire ("to know in advance") which is a combination of Latin prae + scire ("before" + "to know").

Prae is the forebear of our prefix pre- and scire is the forebear of science. Scire probably originally meant "to separate one thing from another, to distinguish" because it's related to scindere ("to cut, divide"). Both come from the Proto-Indo-European base *skei-

The adjective prescient made its appearance in the 1620's via French prescient, which comes from the same lineage as prescience above.

Today's word and the first definition were both taken from's 'Word of the Day' for Monday, March 21
Etymologies come from the Oxford English Dictionary and/or

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