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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
The Federal Reserve had forecast three interest-rate cuts this year, contingent on easing inflation. Daniel De Visé, USA TODAY, 9 Apr. 2024 China, the only one of the three key markets forecast to show year-on-year growth compared to 2023, is expected to earn $7.9 billion, on par with earlier estimates. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Apr. 2024 But even at last month’s Fed meeting, some cracks had emerged: Nine of the 19 policymakers forecast just two rate cuts or fewer for 2024. Christopher Rugaber, Fortune, 6 Apr. 2024 Some analysts forecast that the European Union’s carbon tax will soar well above €100 a metric ton in future years, making proposals like Eni’s, which Mr. Brusco says will cost less than €80 a metric ton on average, an easier sell. Stanley Reed, New York Times, 4 Apr. 2024 In June 2022, months before unrest swept the country, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei gave a speech that seemed to forecast the crackdown. Nilo Tabrizy, Washington Post, 4 Apr. 2024 And while analysts aren’t forecasting any sudden plunges in employment, there are some signs that labor-market conditions could come in weak this month. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 2 Apr. 2024 In Godwin’s conception, the play’s famous trio of witches not only forecasts Macbeth’s fate, but also serves as commentator on the carnage. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2024 Information from the federal National Integrated Drought Information System shows that drought is forecasted to persist for a northern portion of the state through the end of June. David Clarey, Journal Sentinel, 28 Mar. 2024
Express forecast Today: Mix of clouds and sun, stray shower. Dan Stillman, Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2024 Detailed Cincinnati forecast Wednesday: Showers, mainly after 9 a.m. High near 67. Haadiza Ogwude, The Enquirer, 10 Apr. 2024 Thursday weather forecast in Augusta, Ga. Thursday comes with some uncertainty given the forecast for poor weather. Bob Spear, Charlotte Observer, 10 Apr. 2024 Additionally, forecasts for tech earnings remain strong, with analysts expecting the sector to report that profits soared 20% in the first quarter. Sagarika Jaisinghani, Fortune, 10 Apr. 2024 The forecast calls for likely rain Thursday and sunshine the next three days, with temperatures ranging from the low 70s to mid-80s. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, 9 Apr. 2024 Weather predictions, forecast for Louisville As of Tuesday afternoon, the weather forecast for the coming days in Louisville is as follows. Marina Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 9 Apr. 2024 Indianapolis and Cleveland were anxiously hanging on every forecast update. John Bacon, USA TODAY, 8 Apr. 2024 Here's the latest forecast along the path of totality: Mazatlan, Mexico: Dry and mostly cloudy with a few breaks in the clouds. Nadine El-Bawab, ABC News, 6 Apr. 2024

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 23 Apr. 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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