Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
March 8th, 2015
Episode 129 of 681 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for March 08, 2015 is: fatidic \fay-TID-ik\ adjective : of or relating to prophecy Examples: I hope the dream I had last night about losing my wedding ring doesn't prove fatidic. "Shakespeare strews his plays with portents; Pushkin probes his life for fatidic dates; but no writer can have been more fascinated by patterns in time than Nabokov." Brian Boyd, Stalking Nabokov: Selected Essays, 2011 Did you know? As you might guess, fatidic is a relative of the word fate. The Latin word for fate is fatum, which literally means "what has been spoken." Fatum, in turn, comes from fari, meaning "to speak." In the eyes of the ancients, your fate was out of your handswhat happened was up to gods and demigods. Predicting your fate was a job for oracles and prophets. Fatidic is fatum combined with dicere, meaning "to say." That makes fatidic a relative of the word predict as well; the -dict of predict also comes from Latin dicere.