fore·​bode | \ (ˌ)fȯr-ˈbōd How to pronounce forebode (audio) \
variants: or less commonly
foreboded also forboded; foreboding also forboding; forebodes also forbodes

Definition of forebode

transitive verb

1 : to have an inward conviction of (something, such as a coming ill or misfortune) … she looked eagerly in his face, not quick to forebode evil, but unavoidably conscious that the state of the family had changed …— Nathaniel Hawthorne
2 : foretell, portend Such dark clouds forebode a storm.

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Other Words from forebode

foreboder noun

Synonyms for forebode


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Examples of forebode in a Sentence

that police car parked outside the house doesn't forebode well
Recent Examples on the Web Mild humor about the micronation’s pretensions to real statehood seems especially vaporous on the imposing set (by Andrew Boyce) and amid the foreboding ocean roar of Jane Shaw’s sound design. New York Times, "Review: In ‘Terra Firma,’ a Wee Wet Country on the Brink," 10 Oct. 2019 The illustrations of these ecological tragedies are foreboding but oddly serene, and the message is simple: don’t litter, recycle, plant trees. The Editors, Outside Online, "Our 12 Favorite Earth Day Reads," 22 Apr. 2020 Here at the dawn of 2020, though, the mirror of science fiction has a more somber and foreboding reality to reflect back to us. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Star Trek: Picard frontloads fanservice so it can get on with going boldly," 24 Jan. 2020 The United States’ wars in the Middle East have slogged on, with plenty of tense and foreboding moments, for about as long as most teenagers have been alive. New York Times, "For a Post-9/11 Generation, War Isn’t New but Fears of Another One Are," 5 Jan. 2020 The dialogue crackles, but what comes next is as important: Mark jogging through the dark campus back to his dorm as Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s foreboding score builds in the background. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The 10 Best Movie Scenes of the 2010s," 31 Dec. 2019 The remote, desolate lighthouse that Winslow (Robert Pattinson) moves into at the start of the film would be foreboding enough without those dreary, shuddering honks. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Lighthouse Takes You to the Hellish Ends of the Earth," 18 Oct. 2019 This kind of ominous, vague, foreboding comments from the president. NBC News, "Transcript: The Witnesses: Maria Yovanovitch," 19 Nov. 2019 In short, jobs remain plentiful enough that consumers don't share the sense of foreboding that many CEOs feel. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "Consumers Are Bullish. CEOs Remain Bearish. Could That Tension Sink the Economy?," 18 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forebode.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of forebode

1603, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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The first known use of forebode was in 1603

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Cite this Entry

“Forebode.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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