fore·​bod·​ing | \ (ˌ)fȯr-ˈbō-diŋ How to pronounce foreboding (audio) \

Definition of foreboding

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the act of one who forebodes also : an omen, prediction, or presentiment especially of coming evil : portent It seems that her forebodings were justified.



Definition of foreboding (Entry 2 of 2)

: indicative of or marked by foreboding

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Other Words from foreboding


forebodingly \ (ˌ)fȯr-​ˈbō-​diŋ-​lē How to pronounce forebodingly (audio) \ adverb
forebodingness noun

Examples of foreboding in a Sentence

Noun She was filled with a sense of foreboding. It seems that her forebodings were justified. Adjective foreboding war clouds began to gather
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And that's not the only fortunate foreboding as far as Kane's goalscoring goes, with the English striker having contributed to 15 goals in his last 14 Champions League appearances., "Olympiacos vs Tottenham: 8 Key Facts & Stats to Impress Your Mates Ahead of Champions League Clash," 18 Sep. 2019 The specter of death looms high above the stage in the form of a skeletal mariachi trumpeter, an eerie harbinger of foreboding and a contrast to the occasional comic activities below. Tom Titus, Daily Pilot, "On Theater: A stirring ‘American Mariachi’ at South Coast Repertory," 18 Sep. 2019 Importantly, trains also follow a preset path, linking them to ideas of fate—sometimes with dread and foreboding. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "Get to know the symbolism in your daily commute," 11 July 2019 Wildlife enthusiast David Ford captured the foreboding scene, which looks as though a plane full of frankfurters flung open the hatch and let the dogs rain down upon the unassuming shore. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Thousands of chunky, squirming innkeeper worms washed up on a California beach," 14 Dec. 2019 Strange that a seemingly foreboding novel should be so enjoyable, but such is the double-consciousness on which all fiction ultimately depends. John Wilson, National Review, "A Post-Apocalyptic Tale with a Twist," 5 Dec. 2019 The snowy landscape serves as a tense and foreboding setting. Joyce Bautista Ferrari, Marie Claire, "The 12 Best Holiday-Themed Horror Movies," 28 Nov. 2019 The barren landscape — the soil is too sulfurous for plants — and the shifting mists lent the entire scene a Kurosawa-like foreboding. Eva Sohlman, New York Times, "Forged by Volcanoes, Kamchatka Offers Majestic, Magnetic Wilds," 7 Oct. 2019 In 1991 Rodrigo Bernal, a botanist who specializes in palms, was driving into the Tochecito River Basin, a secluded mountain canyon in central Colombia, when he was seized by a sense of foreboding. Jennie Erin Smith, New York Times, "Stalking the Endangered Wax Palm," 5 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'foreboding.' 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 foreboding


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1630, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for foreboding

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The first known use of foreboding was in the 14th century

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Statistics for foreboding

Last Updated

26 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Foreboding.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2020.

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More Definitions for foreboding


How to pronounce foreboding (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of foreboding

: a feeling that something bad is going to happen


fore·​bod·​ing | \ fȯr-ˈbō-diŋ How to pronounce foreboding (audio) \

Kids Definition of foreboding

: a feeling that something bad is going to happen

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More from Merriam-Webster on foreboding

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foreboding

Spanish Central: Translation of foreboding

Nglish: Translation of foreboding for Spanish Speakers

Comments on foreboding

What made you want to look up foreboding? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to assert without proof or before proving

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