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foretell

play
verb fore·tell \fȯr-ˈtel\

Simple Definition of foretell

  • : to describe (something) before it happens

Full Definition of foretell

fore·toldplay \-ˈtōld\fore·tell·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  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>



14th Century

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>.


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