vates

n.

1620s, "poet or bard," specifically "Celtic divinely inspired poet" (1728), from Latin vates "sooth-sayer, prophet, seer," cognate with Old Irish faith "poet," Welsh gwawd "poem," Old English wod "mad, frenzied" (see wood (adj.)). Hence vaticination "oracular prediction" (c.1600).


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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