• synonyms



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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Examples from the Web for vates

Historical Examples of vates

  • No doubt "it" was of the beginning, but it lacked its vates.

    A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1

    George Saintsbury

  • 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?'

  • He is poeta more than vates, and he is least Tennysonian in a poem like "Maud."

  • The Vates (another class of Druids), if not the Bardi, sought for omens among the entrails of victims offered in sacrifice.