What is the name given to a psychic who can only see random true future visions (but not read minds, use telepathy ...)?

Example: Carl sees random visions about the future in his dreams. He had a vision of a future scene in a TV show.

  • 1
    Have you looked up synonyms for "psychic" in a thesaurus or made some other kind of research effort? If you don't indicate this, it seems your question is at risk of being closed. I found a very similar question that was closed for lack of research. As it's closed, I don't think it's exactly a duplicate, but I'd take a look at it: english.stackexchange.com/questions/218604/…
    – herisson
    Commented Aug 16, 2015 at 22:40

6 Answers 6


Precognizant - having prior cognizance or knowledge of a given thing.

If people had this they could be said to be "precogs".


clairvoyant /kleərˈvɔɪənt/
from Oxford Learner's Dictionaries:

a person who is believed to have the power to be able to see future events or to communicate with people who are dead or far away

Based on the etymology and definitions I can find, "clairvoyant" seems to be a more specific word than "psychic," but less specific than Yeshe's "precognizant." "Clairvoyance" seems to apply to the ability to view things from a distance in time or space, rather than more active psychic powers like telekinesis or spoon-bending. But according to the Wikipedia article on clairvoyance, it doesn't necessarily refer to viewing future events (precognition); a "clairvoyant" might also see visions of the past (retrocognition) or of present but far-off events (remote viewing).

Google lists the following as synonyms to "clairvoyance": ESP, extrasensory perception, sixth sense, psychic powers, second sight; telepathy

  • But surely that's a more general word for psychic ... here we want to know the term for "future-looking" clairvoyants.
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 1:39
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    @JoeBlow Do you have evidence for it being a more general term? Wiktionary lists clairvoyant as "A person able to foresee the future." and clairvoyance as "(parapsychology) The power to see the future."
    – Pharap
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 6:31
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    @Pharap: I edited my answer to add more discussion of the meaning. Joe Blow is quite right about the general sense of the term. Of course, particular people may choose to use words in broader or narrower senses (especially when the subject is something as mysterious as psychic powers). But overall, "clairvoyant" is not limited to seeing visions of the future.
    – herisson
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 15:49

seer (noun):

a person of supposed supernatural insight who sees visions of the future

"a seer had foretold that the earl would assume the throne"

soothsayer (noun):

a person supposed to be able to foresee the future

"They recall the prophesy that a soothsayer named Calchas had once made about the future."

Source: ODO

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    Soothsayer and prophet are used for religious visionaries and have divine inspiration as the source. Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 1:22

The source of the vision is important in the answer. Prophet and soothsayer have divinity as a source of information. Clairvoyant is a general term used for people with special abilities.

The general public lumps all of this into one bag and uses words like fortune teller, prophet, seer, empath, medium, etc... This is because of lack of knowledge and respect for the "arts" of ESP.

As far as I know, "precognition" is the word most commonly ascribed to psychics who do not ascribe their abilities to divinity or help from nonphysical beings. I have heard the word "precog" used but I don't like it. In the psychic business, the word clairvoyant is used with the assumption that some information about the future will be given during a reading.


Without delusion or prevarication, I predict that my dustbins will be be emptied next Wednesday. More complicated predictions (such as how to organise a flight) require

foresight [ˈfɔːsʌɪt/] (Google) noun: foresight:
1. the ability to predict what will happen or be needed in the future

and for the adjective, which is stronger

far-seeing (adjective) (Google)
having shrewd judgement and an ability to predict and plan for future eventualities. "when working out your budget, be as precise and far-seeing as possible"

Don't underestimate these gifs
But now, whether the extraordinary knowledge is reasoned, or intuitive, or psychic,

prescient (adjective) Oxford knowing or appearing to know about things before they happen

and (for the noun)

PRESCIENCE N. Merriam-Webster:
foreknowledge of events: a : divine omniscience b : human anticipation of the course of events



...is the somewhat spooky term in Scotland.

Naturally since it is Scotland, it particularly emphasizes precognition of bad news.

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