Word: clairvoyant

Pronunciation: kle(ə)r-VOY-ənt

Part of Speech: adjective

Definition: having or exhibiting an ability to perceive events in the future or beyond normal sensory contact

Source: Oxford Dictionaries

Here’s a fun word for you fantasy/paranormal fiction writers. This one was suggested by my best friend, though it was more of a reminder about a word I already knew that happened to be the first to come to mind when I asked him for a potential vocabulary entry. Given how much I enjoy stories with fantasy elements to them, this is definitely a word I’d keep on a shortlist for describing psychic characters.

A “clairvoyant” person is someone who has (or claims to have) extrasensory perception, that is, the ability to perceive beyond the natural scope of sensory contact. The word is originally French and consists of two root adjectives: clair “clear” and voyant “seeing”. This adjective arose in the late 17th century to mean “clear-sighted” or “perceptive”, while its current definition dates back to the mid 19th century.

Note that the word “clairvoyant” isn’t exclusively an adjective; it can also be used as a noun to indicate “a person who claims to have a supernatural ability to perceive events in the future or beyond normal sensory contact”. Whether or not you believe in such extrasensory perception, you have to admit that the idea of a person being able to foresee the future is intriguing. If you enjoy writing paranormal or fantasy stories, you can certainly get some good use out of this word, provided you’re up for the challenge. “Clairvoyant” characters can be a lot of fun to write! Good luck!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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