[ noun pres-ij; verb pres-ij, pri-seyj ]
See synonyms for: presagepresaging on

  1. a presentiment or foreboding.

  2. something that portends or foreshadows a future event; an omen, prognostic, or warning indication.

  1. prophetic significance; augury.

  2. foresight; prescience.

  3. Archaic. a forecast or prediction.

verb (used with object),pres·aged, pres·ag·ing.
  1. to have a presentiment of.

  2. to portend, foreshow, or foreshadow: The incidents may presage war.

  1. to forecast; predict.

verb (used without object),pres·aged, pres·ag·ing.
  1. to make a prediction.

  2. Archaic. to have a presentiment.

Origin of presage

1350–1400; Middle English (noun) <Middle French presage<Latin praesāgium presentiment, forewarning, equivalent to praesāg(us) having a foreboding (prae-pre- + sāgus prophetic; cf. sagacious) + -ium-ium

Other words for presage

Other words from presage

  • pres·age·ful, adjective
  • pres·age·ful·ly, adverb
  • pres·ag·er, noun
  • un·pres·aged, adjective
  • un·pres·ag·ing, adjective

Words Nearby presage Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use presage in a sentence

  • Only for a moment could any presage of personal fear cloud the sweet serenity of the Maid's nature.

    A Heroine of France | Evelyn Everett-Green
  • Ominous word at such a moment, but the presage of something darker and more ominous still.

    Tony Butler | Charles James Lever
  • The most encouraging time for them was from the year 1874 to 1875, when all seemed to presage better days for them.

British Dictionary definitions for presage


  1. an intimation or warning of something about to happen; portent; omen

  2. a sense of what is about to happen; foreboding

  1. archaic a forecast or prediction

verb(ˈprɛsɪdʒ, prɪˈseɪdʒ)
  1. (tr) to have a presentiment of

  2. (tr) to give a forewarning of; portend

  1. (intr) to make a prediction

Origin of presage

C14: from Latin praesāgium presentiment, from praesāgīre to perceive beforehand, from sāgīre to perceive acutely

Derived forms of presage

  • presageful, adjective
  • presagefully, adverb
  • presager, noun

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