1760, from Latin ovatus "egg-shaped," from ovum "egg" (see ovum).
1723, from assumed Latin plural Ovates, from Greek Ouateis "soothsayers, prophets," mentioned by Strabo as a third order in the Gaulish hierarchy, from Proto-Celtic *vateis, plural of *vatis, cognate with Latin vatis, Old Irish faith, Welsh ofydd. The modern word, and the artificial senses attached to it, are from the 18c. Celtic revival and the word appears first in Henry Rowlands.
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