If a fortune teller made a prophecy that you were going to become a billionaire in your lifetime, you’d be pretty excited. A prophecy is a prediction, or a magical look into the future.

The noun prophecy means a magical foreknowledge, although it can also be used in a playful way to describe an ordinary guess or prediction about the future. So you could say, “Her prophecy for the weather next week is incredibly depressing.” The word comes from the Greek prophetia — literally, “gift of interpreting the will of the gods”. The verb form is prophesy, or predict, and it’s spelled with an s instead of a c.

Definitions of prophecy
  1. noun

    a prediction uttered under divine inspiration

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    a prophecy (usually obscure or allegorical) revealed by a priest or priestess; believed to be infallible
    type of:

    forecasting, foretelling, prediction, prognostication

    a statement made about the future

  2. noun

    knowledge of the future (usually said to be obtained from a divine source)

    prognostication, vaticination
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    crystal gazing

    staring into a crystal ball to arouse visions of future or distant events
    divination, foretelling, fortune telling, soothsaying

    the art or gift of prophecy (or the pretense of prophecy) by supernatural means

    divination by means of numbers
    dowse, dowsing, rhabdomancy

    searching for underground water or minerals by using a dowsing rod

    divination by means of signs connected with the earth (as points taken at random or the arrangement of particles thrown down at random or from the configuration of a region and its relation to another)

    divination by water (as by patterns seen in the ebb and flow of the tides)

    divination by means of stones or stone talismans

    conjuring up the dead, especially for prophesying

    divination through the interpretation of dreams

    divination by the letters of a name
    chirology, chiromancy, palm reading, palmistry

    telling fortunes by lines on the palm of the hand

    divination by fire or flames
    type of:

    anticipation, prediction, prevision

    the act of predicting (as by reasoning about the future)

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