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[pree-kog-nish-uh n] /ˌpri kɒgˈnɪʃ ən/
knowledge of a future event or situation, especially through extrasensory means.
Scots Law.
  1. the examination of witnesses and other parties before a trial in order to supply a legal ground for prosecution.
  2. the evidence established in such an examination.
Origin of precognition
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Late Latin praecognitiōn-, s. of praecognitiō; see pre-, cognition
Related forms
[pree-kog-ni-tiv] /priˈkɒg nɪ tɪv/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for precognition
Historical Examples
  • Would you consider a person fortunate to possess the power of precognition?

    Card Trick Walter Bupp AKA Randall Garrett
  • What she had said about expecting to find me on the roof sounded like precognition.

    Vigorish Gordon Randall Garrett
  • precognition is the least understood of the Psi powers, and the most erratic.

    Vigorish Gordon Randall Garrett
  • "I'm telling him the facts of life about precognition," Morgan told her.

    Talents, Incorporated William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • It might be that there was such a thing as precognition in the form Morgan had described.

    Talents, Incorporated William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • That precognition about me, it doesn't include Madame Porvis?

    Talents, Incorporated William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • Howsever, I suppose thats to be considered in the precognition!

    The Entail

    John Galt
  • Malone wondered if, just maybe, his precognition had blown a fuse.

    Occasion for Disaster Gordon Randall Garrett
  • "But I saw no harm in seeing what she is like with precognition," I said.

    The Right Time Walter Bupp
  • To mention two important types only—there were apparitions of the so-called dead, and there were cases of precognition.

British Dictionary definitions for precognition


(psychol) the alleged ability to foresee future events See also clairvoyance, clairaudience
Derived Forms
precognitive (priːˈkɒɡnɪtɪv) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin praecognitiō foreknowledge, from praecognoscere to foresee, from prae before + cognoscere to know, ascertain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for precognition

"foreknowledge," mid-15c., from Late Latin praecognitionem (nom. praecognitio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin praecognoscere "to foreknow," from prae "before" (see pre-) + cognoscere "to know" (see cognizance).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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precognition in Medicine

precognition pre·cog·ni·tion (prē'kŏg-nĭsh'ən)
Knowledge of something in advance of its occurrence, especially by extrasensory perception.

pre·cog'ni·tive adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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