prescient [ presh-uhnt, ‐ee-uhnt pree-shuhnt, ‐shee-uhnt ]
1. having prescience, or knowledge of things or events before they exist or happen; having foresight: The prescient economist was one of the few to see the financial collapse coming.
OTHER WORDS FROM PRESCIENT
WORDS RELATED TO PRESCIENT
farsighted, judicious, foresighted
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Origin: First recorded in 1590–1600; from Old French, from Latin praesciēns (stem praescient- ), present participle of praescīre “to know beforehand,” equivalent to prae- “before” + scīre “to know”; cf. pre-; see science
[HISTORICAL USAGE OF PRESCIENT]HISTORICAL USAGE OF PRESCIENT
Prescient “knowing things or events before they exist or happen” comes from Old and Middle French, ultimately from Latin praesciēns (stem praescient- ), the present participle of the verb praescīscere (in Late Latin praescīre ) “to come to know beforehand.”
Going from back to front, praescīscere is a compound verb made up of the inceptive verb scīscere “to get to know” (an inceptive verb is one that shows the beginning of an action), formed from the simple verb scīre “to know” and the inceptive infix -sc-. Prae- is the tricky part: It is the Latin preposition and prefix prae, prae- “in front, ahead, before.”
Even in very early Republican times, Latin country dialects simplified the diphthong ae to ē (or long e ), as in rustic Latin hēdus for urban (that is, Roman) haedus “goat.” By the time of the late Republic, in the first century b.c., and the first century a.d., in early Imperial times, the change from ae to ē became general, first in unaccented vowels and afterward in accented vowels too. By the fourth century, ae and e (or short e ) were also confused, and written texts show baene for Classical Latin bene “well,” and braevis for Classical Latin brevis “short.” The Roman grammarian Servius, in a note on the Aeneid, feels it necessary to explain that miserae is the adjective, not the adverb miserē.
The confusion of ae and e persisted throughout ancient, medieval, and modern times. Even today British English prefers the spelling ae, and Americans the spelling e (especially in scientific and medical terms derived via Latin from Greek), as in anaemia and anemia, haemophilia and hemophilia, leukaemia and leukemia, paediatrics and pediatrics.
EXAMPLE SENTENCES FROM THE WEB FOR PRESCIENT
Head of State was prescient, but hollow; I Think I Love My Wife was bland; and the documentary Good Hair was fascinating fun.
OSCAR SEASON KICKS OFF IN TORONTO: CHANNING TATUM, KRISTEN STEWART, AND MORE COURT AWARDS GLORY|MARLOW STERN|SEPTEMBER 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
What is striking about the novel when read today, however, is its prescient embrace of technology.
ZEN, MOTORCYCLES, AND THE CULT OF TECH: HOW ROBERT PIRSIG’S CLASSIC ANTICIPATED THE FUTURE|NATHANIEL RICH|AUGUST 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
If she runs in 2016, her prescient advocacy for early-childhood education might be peaking at just the right time.
HOW A KIDS PROGRAM HILLARY BROUGHT TO ARKANSAS COULD UNITE DEMOCRATS|ELEANOR CLIFT|APRIL 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
You were in Network, too, which in hindsight was such a prescient film.
ROBERT DUVALL ON HIS STORIED CAREER, HIS NEW MOVIE, AND WHY HE’S DITCHING THE GOP|MARLOW STERN|MARCH 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Now YOU come up with a sentence (or fic? or graphic?) that best illustrates the word.