[syn: divination, foretelling, soothsaying, fortune telling]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
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
There shall not be found among you any one that . .
. useth divination, or an observer of times, or an
enchanter. --Deut. xviii.
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.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: successful conjecture by unusual insight or good luck
2: a prediction uttered under divine inspiration [syn:
3: the art or gift of prophecy (or the pretense of prophecy) by
supernatural means [syn: divination, foretelling,
soothsaying, fortune telling]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
69 Moby Thesaurus words for "divination":
alchemy, astrodiagnosis, astrology, astromancy, augury, bewitchery,
charm, clairvoyance, crystal ball, crystal gazing, divining,
enchantment, fetishism, fortunetelling, genethliacs, genethlialogy,
glamour, gramarye, halomancy, haruspication, haruspicy, hoodoo,
horoscopy, idolomancy, juju, jujuism, magic, mantic, mantology,
natural magic, necromancy, obeah, onomancy, palm-reading,
palmistry, pythonism, rune, shamanism, sorcery, sortes Biblicae,
sortes Homericae, sortes Praenestinae, sortes Vergilianae,
sortilege, spatulamancy, spell, spellbinding, spellcasting,
spodomancy, stichomancy, sycomancy, sympathetic magic,
thaumaturgia, thaumaturgics, thaumaturgism, thaumaturgy, theomancy,
theurgy, vampirism, voodoo, voodooism, wanga, white magic,
witchcraft, witchery, witchwork, wizardry, xylomancy, zoomancy
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:
of false prophets (Deut. 18:10, 14; Micah 3:6, 7, 11), of
necromancers (1 Sam. 28:8), of the Philistine priests and
diviners (1 Sam. 6:2), of Balaam (Josh. 13:22). Three kinds of
divination are mentioned in Ezek. 21:21, by arrows, consulting
with images (the teraphim), and by examining the entrails of
animals sacrificed. The practice of this art seems to have been
encouraged in ancient Egypt. Diviners also abounded among the
aborigines of Canaan and the Philistines (Isa. 2:6; 1 Sam. 28).
At a later period multitudes of magicians poured from Chaldea
and Arabia into the land of Israel, and pursued their
occupations (Isa. 8:19; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chr. 33:6). This
superstition widely spread, and in the time of the apostles
there were "vagabond Jews, exorcists" (Acts 19:13), and men like
Simon Magus (Acts 8:9), Bar-jesus (13:6, 8), and other jugglers
and impostors (19:19; 2 Tim. 3:13). Every species and degree of
this superstition was strictly forbidden by the law of Moses
(Ex. 22:18; Lev. 19:26, 31; 20:27; Deut. 18:10, 11).
But beyond these various forms of superstition, there are
instances of divination on record in the Scriptures by which God
was pleased to make known his will.
(1.) There was divination by lot, by which, when resorted to
in matters of moment, and with solemnity, God intimated his will
(Josh. 7:13). The land of Canaan was divided by lot (Num. 26:55,
56); Achan's guilt was detected (Josh. 7:16-19), Saul was
elected king (1 Sam. 10:20, 21), and Matthias chosen to the
apostleship, by the solem lot (Acts 1:26). It was thus also that
the scape-goat was determined (Lev. 16:8-10).
(2.) There was divination by dreams (Gen. 20:6; Deut. 13:1, 3;
Judg. 7:13, 15; Matt. 1:20; 2:12, 13, 19, 22). This is
illustrated in the history of Joseph (Gen. 41:25-32) and of
Daniel (2:27; 4:19-28).
(3.) By divine appointment there was also divination by the
Urim and Thummim (Num. 27:21), and by the ephod.
(4.) God was pleased sometimes to vouch-safe direct vocal
communications to men (Deut. 34:10; Ex. 3:4; 4:3; Deut. 4:14,
15; 1 Kings 19:12). He also communed with men from above the
mercy-seat (Ex. 25:22), and at the door of the tabernacle (Ex.
(5.) Through his prophets God revealed himself, and gave
intimations of his will (2 Kings 13:17; Jer. 51:63, 64).
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):
DIVINATION, n. The art of nosing out the occult. Divination is of as
many kinds as there are fruit-bearing varieties of the flowering dunce
and the early fool.