Word of the Week for the week of August 7, 2016


[klair-AW-dee-uh ns]

Meaning & Usage

noun the scientifically unproven ability to hear what normally cannot be heard by humans, typically associated with the paranormal. People with these special gifts are also known as mediums.

Jeanne d'Arc (a.k.a. Joan of Arc or St. Joan) became notorious at the age of 12 for her clairaudience. The King of France and his generals came to rely on her predictions to win great victories in battle.


A blend of clairvoyance + audience (the act of hearing), from audire (to hear). Ultimately from the Indo-European root au- (to perceive), which also gave us audio, audit, obey, auditorium, anesthesia, aesthetic, and synesthesia. Earliest documented use: 1864.

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