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verb (used with object), prog·nos·ti·cat·ed, prog·nos·ti·cat·ing.
  1. to forecast or predict (something future) from present indications or signs; prophesy.
  2. to foretoken; presage: birds prognosticating spring.
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verb (used without object), prog·nos·ti·cat·ed, prog·nos·ti·cat·ing.
  1. to make a forecast; prophesy.
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Origin of prognosticate

1375–1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin prognōsticātus, past participle of prognōsticāre. See prognostic, -ate1
Related formsprog·nos·ti·ca·tive, prog·nos·ti·ca·to·ry [prog-nos-ti-kuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /prɒgˈnɒs tɪ kəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectiveprog·nos·ti·ca·tor, nounnon·prog·nos·ti·ca·tive, adjectiveun·prog·nos·ti·cat·ed, adjectiveun·prog·nos·ti·ca·tive, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for prognosticate

Historical Examples

  • Of the mineral wealth, it seems as yet dangerous to prognosticate.

    South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 1 (of 6)

    Louis Creswicke

  • A stir seemed to her to prognosticate a rescue and she went not unwillingly.

  • Nevertheless, reasoning a priori, there are some features we may prognosticate.

    Wanderings in Ireland

    Michael Myers Shoemaker

  • Some of these consequences I can prognosticate; others I can hope for.

  • Is this to prognosticate peace, or to mock at my unhappiness?


    Mary Shelley

British Dictionary definitions for prognosticate


  1. to foretell (future events) according to present signs or indications; prophesy
  2. (tr) to foreshadow or portend
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Derived Formsprognostication, nounprognosticative, adjectiveprognosticator, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Medieval Latin prognōsticāre to predict
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 prognosticate


early 15c., a back-formation from prognostication and also from Medieval Latin prognosticatus, past participle of prognosticare (see prognostication). Related: Prognosticated; prognosticating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

prognosticate in Medicine


  1. To predict according to present indications or signs; foretell.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.