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in·tu·it (ĭn-tĭt, -ty-)
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tr.v. in·tu·it·ed, in·tu·it·ing, in·tu·its
To know or understand by intuition: "The child bore his infirmity bravely ... yet may have intuited that his days were numbered" (Virginia Spencer Carr).

[Back-formation from INTUITION.]

Usage Note: Intuit is a good example of a verb that was once considered objectionable but has since become so familiar as to be unremarkable. In our 1988 survey, only 34 percent of the Usage Panel accepted it in Dermot often intuits my feelings about things long before I am really aware of them myself. This weakness of acceptance has been attributed to the verb's status as a back-formation from intuition, since back-formations like incent and surveil are often viewed as trendy or jargony. As a verb, intuit has been in existence as long as other back-formations, such as diagnose (from diagnosis), that have worked their way into the standard vocabulary. Although resistance to intuit lasted longer than that of many back-formation verbs, the word has shaken off its stigma. In our 2005 survey, 80 percent of the Panel accepted the sentence that had made so many Panelists uneasy 17 years before.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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