Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To run before.
  • transitive v. To precede as an indication of what is to follow; foreshadow.
  • transitive v. To prevent from arriving or occurring; forestall.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to run in front
  • v. to forecast or foreshadow

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To turn before; to precede; to be in advance of (something following).
  • transitive v. To come before as an earnest of something to follow; to introduce as a harbinger; to announce.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To run before; have the start of.
  • To come before; precede as an earnest of something to follow; announce or betoken in advance; usher in.
  • If I should write to you of all things which promiscuously forerune our ruine, I should over charge my weake head.
  • Cushman, quoted in Bradford's Plymouth Plantation, p. 73.

Etymologies

fore- +‎ run (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I do think that many mysteries ascribed to our own inventions have been the corteous revelations of spirits; for those noble essences in heaven bear a friendly regard unto their fellow-nature on earth; and therefore believe that those many prodigies and ominous prognosticks, which forerun the ruins of states, princes, and private persons, are the charitable premonitions of good angels, which more careless inquiries term but the effects of chance and nature.

    Religio Medici

  • His expenses forerun his means; he incurs debts on the faith of what his magic pen is to produce, and then, under the pressure of his debts, sacrifices its productions for prices far below their value.

    The Life of Oliver Goldsmith

  • The reports concerning the abbey — the dreams, which had forerun her discovery of the private apartments — the singular manner in which she had found the MS. and the apparition, which she now believed she had really seen.

    The Romance of the Forest

  • Revelation 6: 6: from whence, among other arguments, it may be reasonably supposed, that that chapter treats of the plagues and afflictions that should forerun the destruction of Jerusalem, and, indeed, the destruction and overthrow itself.

    From the Talmud and Hebraica

  • These instruments and a few simple chemical reactions were the forerun - ners of the powerful array of the diagnostic laboratory.

    HEALTH AND DISEASE

  • Indeed, the signs of his fall, or those that forerun it, are terrible and amazing to behold.

    The Riches of Bunyan

  • The comet was the talk, especially in the evening, of the world, as it was taken to forerun disasters.

    The Lincoln Story Book

  • Christ foretells the destruction of the temple and the signs that shall forerun the day of judgment.

    The Bible, Douay-Rheims, Book 48: Mark The Challoner Revision

  • I was a stranger in the place, and but newly come, and my name had forerun me in kindly writings from many friends, so that I may often have been mentioned in households where I had never been seen.

    Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878.

  • It is only when a space of hardly five rods is left, and a swift plunge could almost forerun the rifle flash, that the word of execution impels the bullet, and the entire front rank, from redoubt to river, is swept away.

    The Bay State Monthly — Volume 1, No. 5, May, 1884

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