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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for precognition
Historical Examples
  • But to resume: I have it here in Mr. Mungo Campbell's precognition that you ran immediately up the brae.

    David Balfour, Second Part Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Malone wondered if, just maybe, his precognition had blown a fuse.

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

    Talents, Incorporated William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • "But I saw no harm in seeing what she is like with precognition," I said.

    The Right Time Walter Bupp
  • Would you consider a person fortunate to possess the power of precognition?

    Card Trick Walter Bupp AKA Randall Garrett
  • To mention two important types only—there were apparitions of the so-called dead, and there were cases of precognition.

  • Howsever, I suppose thats to be considered in the precognition!

    The Entail John Galt
  • The evidence for precognition, again, was from the first scantier, and has advanced at a slower rate.

  • It might be that there was such a thing as precognition in the form Morgan had described.

    Talents, Incorporated William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • He next began his precognition of those connected with the house, and, on returning to town, procured access to Mrs. S——.

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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