prognose or prognosticate or diagnose

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  • miss-speech

    English - USA

    "Prognose" and "prognosticate" are not quite the same. "Prognose" is mainly used in a medical context, meaning "to make a prognosis", i.e. to predict the course or outcome of some medical condition.

    "Prognosticate" is to make a prediction about the future and is not restricted to medical contexts.

    "Diagnose" can't replace either of the two, since it means to find the cause or identity of something (usually a problem or illness); and does not have the element of making an assessment about the future.


    Spanish Argentina
    Ok, thanks, but you wouldn t use "prognosticate" in general, right ? you would use "foresee or forecast", correct me if I am wrong
    Thanks a lot


    English - USA
    "Prognosticate" is not that rare or strange. I would use it. And it's distinct from "foresee", as foresee basically means to be aware of something before it happens; not necessarily to actively make a prediction, as with "prognosticate". If I were a psychic, I could have a vision of the future come to me, and that would be "forseeing", but not "prognosticating".

    Overall, "forecast" and "predict" are more common than "prognosticate", but there are contexts in which "prognosticate" works better (like the one Chris K mentioned).


    American English
    Ok, thanks, but you wouldn t use "prognosticate" in general, right ?
    What do you mean, "in general"? Like almost all words that appear in the dictionary, they can be used in a specific context. If you give us a specific context (as the forum rules require), then we can help you determine which of these words sounds better than the others, and we can explain why.
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