foreground

noun
fore·​ground | \ ˈfȯr-ˌgrau̇nd How to pronounce foreground (audio) \

Definition of foreground

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the part of a scene or representation that is nearest to and in front of the spectator Objects in the foreground seem larger than those in the background.
2 : a position of prominence : forefront We want this issue to be in the foreground.
3 : a level of computer processing at which the processor responds immediately to input to a designated high-priority task — compare background

foreground

verb
foregrounded; foregrounding; foregrounds

Definition of foreground (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to bring to the foreground especially : to give prominence or emphasis to

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Examples of foreground in a Sentence

Noun

We want the issue to be in the foreground.

Verb

Public discussion has foregrounded the issue of health care. repeatedly foregrounded his experience in international affairs in the course of his campaign for the presidency
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Modern towers in the background speak of India’s future; ancient masonry in the foreground of its past. The Economist, "The South Asian monsoon, past, present and future," 27 June 2019 The horizontal picture has been scanned and enlarged in an effort to make out the 147 names, but more than a dozen names are illegible, either blocked by a wooden fence in the foreground or listed on sides of the memorial that are outside the frame. San Diego Union-Tribune, "A group wants to rebuild a World War II memorial. This photo is all that’s left to go on.," 20 June 2019 When putting a person in the foreground, aspiring photographers often make the mistake of putting that individual in the center of the frame. National Geographic, "Camera Tips and Tricks from National Geographic Photographer Jay Dickman," 26 Mar. 2019 The foreground offers four goldfish bowls, water within each, but none with fish. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, "Where Europe and Asia meet: Chloe Dewe Mathews’s ‘Caspian: The Elements’," 12 June 2019 In the foreground of the snapshot is a baby's play area, a subtle nod to Middleton's son, Arthur Michael William Matthews, who does not appear in the photo, but was born in October. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Pippa Middleton Shows Off Her Holiday Decor in a Festive New Photo," 21 Dec. 2018 The photo’s foreground also shows a rock with some dust sculpted around its base. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "How a Small CubeSat Became the Unlikely Hero of the InSight Landing," 29 Nov. 2018 Dubstep is a global phenomenon & genre's like Electronica, Moombahton, Beats music & 'Trap' start to take a foreground for me. Nick Williams, Billboard, "Listen to Aussie Beatsmith What So Not's #TBT Mixtape, Inspired by His 'Rock Kid' Origins," 7 June 2018 For example, the psychologist Anne Treisman and her colleagues presented subjects with pairs of abstract shapes: one in the foreground and one in the background. Daniel Glaser, A-LIST, "Out of Your Mind," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

By making him and Jackson into mismatched partners on a crime-solving mission, the movie foregrounds generational conflict, which brings a sense of the actual change that eludes Men in Black: International. Jesse Hassenger, The Verge, "Men in Black: International and Shaft show the limits of modern film franchises," 21 June 2019 Fernández Mallo’s work arrives in the United States as part of a procession of books that have foregrounded the velocity of their composition. Christopher Beha, Harper's magazine, "Mallo My!," 10 Mar. 2019 And at the end of the episode, Bonnie, upset with her mother following a tense dinner, asks her to leave, though Elizabeth stays on anyway — thereby foregrounding their complicated relationship and downplaying the question of race. Greg Braxton, latimes.com, "‘Big Little Lies’ is less white this season. That doesn't mean it’s smart about race," 16 June 2019 Gymnastics is a sport where aesthetics are foregrounded. Dvorameyers, Longreads, "The Gymnast’s Position," 5 June 2019 Newsletter Sign-up Mr. Karpeles foregrounds what Czapski himself would have wished to be his legacy: his painting. Cynthia Haven, WSJ, "Book Review: Shouldering the Century’s Burden," 25 Jan. 2019 From the beginning, the subtlety and brilliance of Cusk’s project arises from her decision not to foreground Faye’s specific loss. New York Times, "Rachel Cusk Strips the Novel Down to Its Frame. Again.," 6 June 2018 In upcoming shows, Rabinow plans to foreground issues of social justice that were as urgent for the de Menils as their commitment to sharing art with the public. Kristina O’neill, WSJ, "WSJ. Magazine Editor’s Letter: Selfie Reinvention," 11 Oct. 2018 That tactic works well for foregrounding the family — this is a show about the after-effects of loss and grief, not the incidents themselves — and it may well be intended as a way to amplify tension by making the audience wait for the payoffs. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Netflix’s Haunting of Hill House is like This Is Us wrapped in a gothic ghost story," 28 Sep. 2018

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

Noun

1695, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1892, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for foreground

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for foreground

The first known use of foreground was in 1695

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More Definitions for foreground

foreground

noun

English Language Learners Definition of foreground

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the part of a scene or picture that is nearest to and in front of the viewer
: an important position

foreground

verb

English Language Learners Definition of foreground (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (something) more important

foreground

noun
fore·​ground | \ ˈfȯr-ˌgrau̇nd How to pronounce foreground (audio) \

Kids Definition of foreground

: the part of a picture or scene that seems to be nearest to and in front of the person looking at it

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Comments on foreground

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