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[div-uh-ney-shuh n]
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  1. the practice of attempting to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge by occult or supernatural means.
  2. augury; prophecy: The divination of the high priest was fulfilled.
  3. perception by intuition; instinctive foresight.
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Origin of divination

1350–1400; Middle English divinacioun (< Anglo-French) < Latin dīvīnātiōn- (stem of dīvīnātiō), equivalent to dīvīnāt(us), past participle of dīvīnāre to soothsay (dīvīn- divine + -ātus -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsdi·vin·a·to·ry [dih-vin-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /dɪˈvɪn əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for divinatory

augural, fatidic, fatidical, mantic, oracular, sibylline, vatic, vaticinal, prophetical, sibyllic, hypothetic, hypothetical, speculative, supposed, suppositious, supposititious

Examples from the Web for divinatory

Historical Examples of divinatory

  • It appears to me just as teleologic and divinatory as those I have previously named.

    An Ethnologist's View of History

    Daniel G. Brinton

  • In its divinatory rôle it has often been connected with astrology.

  • The divinatory meanings follow, and then the modes of operation.

  • The belief in the sacredness or divinity of the human body has led to the search for divinatory signs in its parts.

  • The use of divinatory methods, with whatsoever intention and for whatever purpose, carries with it two suggestions.

British Dictionary definitions for divinatory


  1. the art, practice, or gift of discerning or discovering future events or unknown things, as though by supernatural powers
  2. a prophecy
  3. a presentiment or guess
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Derived Formsdivinatory (dɪˈvɪnətərɪ, -trɪ), adjective
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

Word Origin and History for divinatory



late 14c., from Old French divination (13c.), from Latin divinationem (nominative divinatio) "the power of foreseeing, prediction," noun of action from past participle stem of divinare, literally "to be inspired by a god" (see divine (adj.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper