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[pri-zen-tuh-muh nt] /prɪˈzɛn tə mənt/
a feeling or impression that something is about to happen, especially something evil; foreboding.
Origin of presentiment
1705-15; < French, now obsolete spelling of pressentiment. See pre-, sentiment
Related forms
presentimental, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for presentiment
Historical Examples
  • I suppose you had a presentiment I should like him, and left him for me, mamma!

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • He bit his lip in his annoyance, shivering with a presentiment.

    The Fortune Hunter Louis Joseph Vance
  • I had had the presentiment of this, but the certitude of it now caused me intense grief.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • Of that I know nothing; Fate has no hint, my heart no presentiment.

    The Prisoner of Zenda Anthony Hope
  • Cornstalk is said to have had a presentiment of his approaching fate.

    Chronicles of Border Warfare Alexander Scott Withers
  • I had a presentiment of it on the first day; your painting frightened me as if it were a monster.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • Felicite professed to feel a presentiment that she would die rich.

  • I had a presentiment that I should hear more of the matter; and I was not wrong.

    The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro
  • I have a presentiment that sooner or later my position here will become untenable.

    The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro
  • All of them are antagonistic to sense and have an affinity to number and measure and a presentiment of ideas.

    Timaeus Plato
British Dictionary definitions for presentiment


a sense of something about to happen; premonition
Word Origin
C18: from obsolete French, from pressentir to sense beforehand; see pre-, sentiment
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 presentiment

1714, from obsolete French presentiment (Modern French Related: pressentiment), from Middle French pressentir "to have foreboding," from Latin praesentire "to sense beforehand," from prae "before" (see pre-) + sentire "perceive, feel" (see sense (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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