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 foreboding (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 These works also give us an emotional registry of the feelings — smallness, sublimity, foreboding, tranquillity — that snow evokes. New York Times, 19 Jan. 2021 My foreboding is not diminished by reading in that Journal report about an investor (who has — good for him — done well in the market). Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 24 Nov. 2020 Already facing a resurgent virus and the growing toll of a pandemic economy, Americans are now looking with grim foreboding at the months ahead. Campbell Robertson, New York Times, 6 Oct. 2020 But this was just a foreboding of what was to come in 1854. Gordon S. Wood, WSJ, 25 Sep. 2020 But every so often, that anniversary also arrives as a new storm churns in the Gulf, turning memories into deep foreboding. Ian Mcnulty | Staff Writer,, 24 Aug. 2020 Most of the foreboding black lines were stacked like checkers around the pump. Deirdre Mask, Time, 14 Apr. 2020 But there was no denying that the lighting down there was a foreboding red. Sarah Todd, Quartz, 21 Jan. 2020 Each of these connections unfolds with a sense of uncanny foreboding, like the feeling of walking down a dark hallway without a sliver of light. Los Angeles Times, 5 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The foreboding slide deck was posted online, spreading faster than a beta invite for the latest mobile app. Fortune, 18 May 2021 The show cuts from this foreboding scene to one of her standing in a luminous field with Caesar (Aaron Pierre), a man enslaved on the same plantation. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, 14 May 2021 Yet the musicians also produced a hefty sound in the foreboding opening of Mozart’s Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K. 546, for string orchestra. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, 29 Apr. 2021 Composer Nicholas Britell’s haunting and, at turns, whimsical score brilliantly incorporates the urgent and foreboding horn of a locomotive. Washington Post, 12 May 2021 Other companies have a similarly foreboding message. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, 4 May 2021 Luzon says at the top of the clip (above), after the witches sing a foreboding chant before bursting into a wicked song. Joey Nolfi,, 20 Apr. 2021 From the coastline of the Adriatic sea to the foreboding Apennine Mountain range that cuts through the region, keeping it largely isolated for centuries, preserving its identity. Valentina Di Donato, Forbes, 18 Apr. 2021 For the first six months of the pandemic this was a matter of some academic interest—and more than a little foreboding. The Economist, 23 Mar. 2021

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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Cite this Entry

“Foreboding.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for foreboding



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

More from Merriam-Webster on foreboding

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foreboding

Nglish: Translation of foreboding for Spanish Speakers


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