“Even the omniscient internet was not as prescient as our local weatherman, who accurately predicted every snow day in February.”

As used above, what is the best definition of prescient?

Check your answer!

Choice A - Foresighted, or anticipating events before they occur
Choice B - All-knowing, or knowledgeable about all types of things
Choice C - Related to the weather or natural events
Choice D - Reliable or always able to be depended on


Prescient (adjective) – anticipating the significance of events before they occur; or, having foresight

Prescience (noun) – the capacity to be prescient; or, to anticipate forthcoming events

GRE pro tips:

The word “prescient” is a challenging GRE word that may appear unfamiliar to you, but it’s meaning can be revealed by examining its roots. You likely know that the prefix pre- means “before” (as in prehistoric, or prefix!), and, if you remove that prefix, you’re left with “science.” Science comes from a Latin word meaning “to know”—this makes sense considering that science is a form of knowledge. So, you can safely assume that being prescient means having “pre-knowledge,” or insight, of things that have not yet occurred. People with prescience are often prophetic or visionary—they could use their foresightedness as a political analyst, or even as a sea captain.

It is worth noting that prescience is related to another GRE word you need to know: omniscience. Whereas someone with prescience knows things before they transpire, someone (or some entity) with omniscience knows all the things (omni means “all”).

Example sentences:

“The investment was risky but we felt certain that our financial advisor had prescient information that limited our exposure.”

“Though the futuristic novel was written a century ago, the author’s observations were so prescient, it is eerie.”