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fore·​cast ˈfȯr-ˌkast How to pronounce forecast (audio)
forecast also forecasted; forecasting

transitive verb

: to calculate or predict (some future event or condition) usually as a result of study and analysis of available pertinent data
The company is forecasting reduced profits.
especially : to predict (weather conditions) on the basis of correlated meteorological (see meteorology sense 1) observations
They're forecasting rain for this weekend.
: to indicate as likely to occur
Optimists are forecasting an immediate upswing in business.
: to serve as a forecast of : presage
Such events may forecast peace.

intransitive verb

: to calculate the future
if it turns out as I forecasted
forecastable adjective
forecaster noun


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fore·​cast ˈfȯr-ˌkast How to pronounce forecast (audio)
: a prophecy, estimate, or prediction of a future happening or condition
archaic : foresight of consequences and provision against them : forethought
Choose the Right Synonym for forecast

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

Examples of forecast in a Sentence

Verb They're forecasting rain for this weekend. The company is forecasting reduced profits. Experts forecast that the economy will slow in the coming months. Noun want to catch the weather forecast so I'll know what kind of clothes to pack for the trip tomorrow
Recent Examples on the Web
High temperatures in the capital region are expected to soar above 100 degrees for at least a week, with a high of 111 degrees forecast for Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service. Hannah Poukish, Sacramento Bee, 3 July 2024 Many parts of the Central Valley are forecast to see five to seven days — or more — of highs over 110 degrees and nighttime temperatures that remain above 70 or 80, conditions that give the human body almost no opportunity to recover. Grace Toohey, Los Angeles Times, 3 July 2024
Having parasols, umbrellas, and shawls on hand will ensure your guests are comfortable no matter the forecast (and make for good gifts). Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, 4 July 2024 Hurricane Beryl path tracker This forecast track shows the most likely path of the center of the storm. Mary Walrath-Holdridge, USA TODAY, 4 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for forecast 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'forecast.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1527, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of forecast was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near forecast

Cite this Entry

“Forecast.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
fore·​cast ˈfō(ə)r-ˌkast How to pronounce forecast (audio)
forecast also forecasted; forecasting
: to calculate or predict (a future event or state) usually by study and examination of data
forecast the weather
forecaster noun


2 of 2 noun
: an estimate or prediction of a future happening or condition
weather forecasts

More from Merriam-Webster on forecast

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