What is the word for the quality to foresee? Note that, the word should not be related to specific fields like astrology. I am writing an article and the word should be such as it can be used in this place:

The leader X was a great political personality at those unstable times after WWII. Alone he was able to show the hapless global economy, a ray of hope using his immense and distinguishing *(the quality) which pushed him to reach the zenith of fame at that time.

  • I guess you're not looking for words like instinct or intuition? What about second sight or extrasensory perception? – Em1 Aug 30 '13 at 8:31
  • @Em1, No, not exactly. Like I said its like ability to foresee or to predict. – Mistu4u Aug 30 '13 at 8:34
  • Also its not like second sight as you suggested. Its not that hard to perceive. Its more like the quality of a person to take decision/action based on his judgement on what is likely to happen in future upon observing the environment around him. – Mistu4u Aug 30 '13 at 8:37


From NOAD:

foresight (n.) the ability to predict or the action of predicting what will happen or be needed in the future                   

  • Nice. That is the one I was looking for. – Mistu4u Aug 30 '13 at 8:44
  • Synonym search also gave me a great word "prospicience" :) – Mistu4u Aug 30 '13 at 8:47
  • 4
    @Mistu4u - Trust me, stick with foresight. – J.R. Aug 30 '13 at 9:00
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    @Mistu4u That's a much rarer word! It means foresight literally: it's pro- ("fore") and spic- (from specere "to see"), along with -ience. Be careful not to misremember the end of the word as science ("knowledge"); the Latinate word for foreknowledge is prescience. – snailplane Aug 30 '13 at 9:02
  • snailboat: Yes, so rare that some pretty decent dictionaries don't even list it! – J.R. Aug 30 '13 at 9:05

Personally, I tend to use foresight when talking about someone knowing some specific future thing.

For the more general case (when someone is consistently able to predict how things will turn out), I'd be more likely to say they were prescient

prescience - knowledge of events before they take place; foreknowledge.

It may be worth pointing out that although foresight is more common than prescience to name the ability itself, prescient is far more common than foresighted as an adjective to describe a person who has that ability (particularly in more recent decades).

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