AskDefine | Define premonition

Dictionary Definition



1 a feeling of evil to come; "a steadily escalating sense of foreboding"; "the lawyer had a presentiment that the judge would dismiss the case" [syn: foreboding, presentiment, boding]
2 an early warning about a future event [syn: forewarning]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A clairvoyant or clairaudient experience, such as a dream, which resonates with some event in the future.
  2. A strong intuition that something is about to happen.


A clairvoyant or clairaudient experience, such as a dream, which resonates with some event in the future
A strong intuition that something is about to happen

Extensive Definition

Premonition refers to a situation when future events are foreknown or forecast. They are attributed by some people to the presence of supernatural or paranormal abilities.(see Cassandra myth). However, the distinction between precognition and ordinary evidence-based predictions is sometimes not made sharply. "Premonition" may be defined to include or exclude ordinary predictions, and this means a fallacy of linguistic ambiguity can lead to an overly supernatural explanation for the accuracy of predictions.

Famous premonitions

  • Abraham Lincoln's prophetic dream of his death and funeral, which he related to both his bodyguard and his wife mere hours before his assassination.
  • Otto von Bismarck predicted the beginning of the First World War, by saying (shortly before he died in 1898) to Mr. Ballen: "If there is ever another war in Europe, it will come out of some damned silly thing in the Balkans" . Note that this is a good example of a premonition that could easily be due to a good intuitive understanding of politics, rather than being precognitive.
  • The novelist Mark Twain predicted that Halley's Comet would be seen on the day of his death, just as it was when he was born. Twain died weeks before Halley's 1910 appearance on May 18th.
  • The French apothecary and seer Nostradamus is also believed to have predicted his own death and the date in which his tomb would be opened.
  • Julius Caesar's wife Calpurnia had a dream the night before he died that he would get stabbed by a friend, and she warned him not to go.
  • The Mayans also supposedly predicted their own death, and rumors say that when the Mayan calendar ends, 2012, then the world will end.

In popular culture

Notes and references

premonition in French: Prémonition
premonition in Portuguese: Premonição
premonition in Russian: Предчувствие
premonition in Turkish: Premonisyon

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

ESP, advance notice, apprehensiveness, clairsentience, clairvoyance, extrasensory perception, feeling, foreboding, forefeeling, foresight, forewarning, funny feeling, hunch, impression, insight, intimation, intuition, intuitive impression, lucidity, misgiving, plenty of notice, portent, preapprehension, precautioning, prediction, prenotice, prenotification, prenotion, presage, presagement, presentiment, prewarning, psychometry, second sight, sixth sense, sneaking suspicion, suspicion, vague feeling, vague idea
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