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Is there single word that means "all seeing"?

From what I can tell, omniscient is often used to cover this, but that more accurately means "all knowing". It likely stems from a presumption that if you can see all, you know all.

Nevertheless, I'm looking for a word that means specifically "all seeing". Would it be something like omnivisient?

  • Would you accept omnipresent, predicated on the logic that if you're everywhere, you'll see everything? – kolossus Jun 10 '15 at 17:35
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    "visient" in your "omnivisient" is no word form in English. The Latin form would be videns or vident from vide:re. In English we have no verb to vise and a participle from such a verb would be vising. We have to supervise, but no vise. – rogermue Jun 10 '15 at 20:42
  • If you happened to live in Harry Potter-land, there are always omnioculars, of course. Sadly, I don’t think we Muggles have invented them yet. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 10 '15 at 22:32
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The only actual Latin word that means ‘all-seeing’ which I can find is omnituens, which is frightfully rare and poetic even in Latin, and doesn’t seem to have been used more than a small handful of times in English—half of them being people telling others that there’s no such word.

I would not advise using that.

Then there’s omnipercipient, which is at least an English word, though still not a common one. It clearly means ‘all-perceiving’, but that’s quite close to ‘all-seeing’, and the OED defines it as “seeing or perceiving everything”.

All in all, though, I think you’d be better off with Greek than Latin here. The Ancient Greeks had tons of verbs meaning ‘see’ in various shades, and a few were combined with the prefix pan(t)- ‘all’, the Greek counterpart to Latin omni-. Thus, for instance, πανόπτης panóptēs means ‘all-seeing’ and has actually come down to us in English as panoptic, which has two separate meanings: OED

  1. All-seeing; (fig.) comprehensive, covering every aspect of a subject, all-encompassing.
  2. Of the nature of or relating to a panopticon; in which all can be seen.

In addition, there is pantoscopic, which is most commonly used as a synonym for bifocal (describing glasses and lenses), but also has a more generic meaning: OED

  1. All-seeing; having a wide range of vision or coverage.
  • It might also be worth noting that the anglicized form of Latin "omnituens" would be "omnituent" (like how Latin "omnipotens" corresponds to English "omnipotent"). An example of its use in an English text: books.google.com/… – sumelic Mar 15 '18 at 17:59
  • @sumelic True, it would be omnituent; I imagine that was probably the form I looked for when I wrote the answer. It’s still pretty much obscure to the point of nonexistence. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 15 '18 at 19:04
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Based upon this page, I believe you are seeking either:

omnividence - Being able to see everything or perceiving all things.

or

omnivision - 1. Seeing everything or perceiving all things.

Based on the latter word, omnivisual would seem a more likely candidate over omnivisient.

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    Omnivision occurs in, for example, 1984; though I don't recall whether that's what it's called there. The problem is that the Latin word meaning all-seeing would be omnivident, but that word didn't get borrowed from Latin into English, so it's not an English word and nobody would understand it except another Latin speaker. And there aren't any. – John Lawler Jun 10 '15 at 19:55
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I found a word, "omnivident", with this meaning as an answer in a word puzzle magazine. (Acrostica, vol.1, puzzle #15, clue word M.) I was not able to find this word in a brief search of online dictionaries. Although I've never heard of this word before and it doesn't seem to be common-- to wit, not in dictionaries-- I can see why it would have that meaning. The magazine's editors must have SOME substantive basis for using "omnivident" in one of their puzzles.

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    their substantive basis was in annoying people who hate words that don't appear in dictionaries :) – user180089 Jul 16 '16 at 0:49

protected by tchrist Feb 23 '18 at 2:33

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