Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To tell of or indicate beforehand; predict.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To tell beforehand, or in advance of the event; predict; prophesy.
  • Synonyms To vaticinate; Foretell, Prophesy, Predict, Presage, Forebode, Prognosticate, may represent the act of a person correctly or incorrectly asserting what will happen. Foretell is the general word for telling beforehand, and generally correctly. Prophesy and predict are often used lightly for foretell, but in strictness they are more forcible words, prophesy, through its use in the Scripture, often implying supernatural help, and predict precision of calculation or knowledge. Presage implies superior wisdom or perception; to forebode is to anticipate or prophesy evil, especially indefinite evil. To prognosticate is to foretell by studying signs or symptoms: as, to prognosticate bad weather or the course of a disease. See omen.
  • To utter prediction or prophecy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To predict; to tell before occurence; to prophesy; to foreshow.
  • intransitive verb To utter predictions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To tell what's going to happen in the future, especially but not necessarily by having the power of clairvoyance and using it.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb foreshadow or presage
  • verb make a prediction about; tell in advance
  • verb indicate by signs

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From fore- +‎ tell. Compare Latinate premonition.

Examples

  • With whatever qualifications, it is certainly one of the great English lyrics, and its union of Renaissance sensuousness with grandeur of conception and sureness of expression foretell clearly enough at twenty the poet of 'Paradise Lost.'

    A History of English Literature

  • You know, it's impossible, particularly in this part of the world and particularly in the middle of a war, to foretell the future.

    U.S. Pursues Two-Track Strategy In Afghanistan

  • As the lives of the townspeople become inextricably intertwined with the newly arrived women, Poppy’s premonitions begin to foretell a deep unhappiness for all involved.

    Water Ghosts by Shawna Yang Ryan: Book summary

  • The first few moments of that meeting will foretell a lot.

    Andrew Brandt: The (CBA) End Is Near for the NFL

  • Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year.

    duh pookie

  • You know, it's impossible, particularly in this part of the world and particularly in the middle of a war, to foretell the future.

    U.S. Pursues Two-Track Strategy In Afghanistan

  • The NFL, which is suddenly in danger of becoming the No Football League, routinely proposes rules changes that seem to foretell a ban on tackling.

    Enough With the Pillow Fights

  • Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year.

    duh pookie

  • You know, it's impossible, particularly in this part of the world and particularly in the middle of a war, to foretell the future.

    U.S. Pursues Two-Track Strategy In Afghanistan

  • Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year.

    duh pookie

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