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  1. the practice or art of foretelling events.
  2. a prediction or prophecy.
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Origin of soothsaying

First recorded in 1525–35; sooth + saying


verb (used without object), sooth·said, sooth·say·ing.
  1. to foretell events; predict.
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Origin of soothsay

First recorded in 1600–10; back formation from soothsayer
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for soothsaying

Historical Examples

  • As already indicated, the Irulas, like the Yerukalas, indulge in soothsaying.

    Castes and Tribes of Southern India

    Edgar Thurston

  • Among these, the practice of soothsaying by bones is remarkable.

  • This was separation from the ritual and from the implements of soothsaying.

  • So then she had known—she had spoken the truth in her soothsaying that day so long ago!

  • Birds, in soothsaying; wisdom shown by; tree which is a natural snare for.

British Dictionary definitions for soothsaying


verb -says, -saying or -said
  1. (intr) to predict the future
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Derived Formssoothsaying, 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

Word Origin and History for soothsaying



c.1600, back-formation from soothsayer. As a noun from 1540s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper