[noun pres-ij; verb pres-ij, pri-seyj]
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  1. a presentiment or foreboding.
  2. something that portends or foreshadows a future event; an omen, prognostic, or warning indication.
  3. prophetic significance; augury.
  4. foresight; prescience.
  5. 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.
  3. 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
Related formspres·age·ful, adjectivepres·age·ful·ly, adverbpres·ag·er, nounun·pres·aged, adjectiveun·pres·ag·ing, adjective

Synonyms for presage

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1. foreshadowing, indication, premonition. 2. portent, sign, token. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for presage

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British Dictionary definitions for presage


noun (ˈprɛsɪdʒ)
  1. an intimation or warning of something about to happen; portent; omen
  2. a sense of what is about to happen; foreboding
  3. archaic a forecast or prediction
verb (ˈprɛsɪdʒ, prɪˈseɪdʒ)
  1. (tr) to have a presentiment of
  2. (tr) to give a forewarning of; portend
  3. (intr) to make a prediction
Derived Formspresageful, adjectivepresagefully, adverbpresager, noun

Word Origin for presage

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

late 14c., "something that portends," from Latin praesagium "a foreboding," from praesagire "to perceive beforehand, forebode," from praesagus (adj.) "perceiving beforehand, prophetic," from prae "before" (see pre-) + sagus "prophetic," related to sagire "perceive" (see sagacious).


1560s, from Middle French présager (16c.), from présage "omen," from Latin praesagium (see presage (n.)). Related: Presaged; presaging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper