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).
Examples from the Web for vates
No doubt "it" was of the beginning, but it lacked its vates.A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1
The vates of the Romans was poet and prophet; and such was Berkeley.
Like Mr. Fitzgerald, shall I not lay claim to the character of 'Vates?'Life of Lord Byron, Vol. III
He is poeta more than vates, and he is least Tennysonian in a poem like "Maud."Platform Monologues
T. G. Tucker
The Vates (another class of Druids), if not the Bardi, sought for omens among the entrails of victims offered in sacrifice.The Mysteries of All Nations