verb \fr-ˈtel\

: to describe (something) before it happens


Full Definition of FORETELL

transitive verb
:  to tell beforehand :  predict
fore·tell·er noun

Examples of FORETELL

  1. We cannot foretell the future.
  2. <a 16th-century astrologer who, some claim, accurately foretold 20th-century events>

First Known Use of FORETELL

14th century

Synonym Discussion of FORETELL

foretell, predict, forecast, prophesy, prognosticate mean to tell beforehand. foretell applies to the telling of the coming of a future event by any procedure or any source of information <seers foretold the calamity>. predict commonly implies inference from facts or accepted laws of nature <astronomers predicted an eclipse>. forecast adds the implication of anticipating eventualities and differs from predict in being usually concerned with probabilities rather than certainties <forecast snow>. prophesy connotes inspired or mystic knowledge of the future especially as the fulfilling of divine threats or promises <prophesying a new messiah>. prognosticate is used less often than the other words; it may suggest learned or skilled interpretation, but more often it is simply a colorful substitute for predict or prophesy <prognosticating the future>.

Other Occult Terms

augury, censor, invocation, lucidity, metempsychosis, mojo, numinous, preternatural, weird, wraith


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