Divination

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Divination'

Divination Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    divination n
  1. successful conjecture by unusual insight or good luck
  2. a prediction uttered under divine inspiration [syn: prophecy]
  3. the art or gift of prophecy (or the pretense of prophecy) by supernatural means [syn: foretelling, soothsaying, fortune telling}]
Divination Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Divination \Div`i*na"tion\, n. [L. divinatio, fr. divinare, divinatum, to foresee, foretell, fr. divinus: cf. F. divination. See Divine.]
  1. The act of divining; a foreseeing or foretelling of future events; the pretended art discovering secret or future by preternatural means. There shall not be found among you any one that . . . useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter. --Deut. xviii. 10. Note: Among the ancient heathen philosophers natural divination was supposed to be effected by a divine afflatus; artificial divination by certain rites, omens, or appearances, as the flight of birds, entrails of animals, etc.
  2. An indication of what is future or secret; augury omen; conjectural presage; prediction. Birds which do give a happy divination of things to come. --Sir T. North.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Divination'


Divination (from Latin divinare "to foresee, to be inspired by a god" Divination can be seen as a systematic method with which to organize what appear to be disjointed, random facets of existence such that they provide insight into a problem at hand. If a distinction is to be made between divination and fortune-telling, divination has a formal or ritual and often social character, usually in a religious context, as seen in traditional African medicine; while fortune-telling is a more everyday practice for personal purposes. Particular divination methods vary by culture and religion.

Divination is often dismissed by sceptics, including the scientific community, as being mere superstition: in the 2nd century, Lucian devoted a witty essay to the career of a charlatan, Alexander the false prophet, trained by "one of those who advertise enchantments, miraculous incantations, charms for your love-affairs, visitations for your enemies, disclosures of buried treasure, and successions to estates", though most Romans believed in dreams and charms. It is considered a sin in most Christian denominations and Judaism.

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