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


foregrounded; foregrounding; foregrounds

Definition of foreground (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While researching vacations that felt, at a minimum, really special, we were finally swayed by imagery of couples outfitted in khaki wielding binoculars, a pride of lions in the foreground. Kaitlin Menza, Town & Country, 18 May 2022 None of this, of course, was in the foreground for the scores of people gathered on Buffalo’s East Side on Monday near the supermarket. Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post, 17 May 2022 Try to position your shot get a cactus, tree or building in the foreground. Anne Ryman, The Arizona Republic, 9 May 2022 In the foreground, the dynamic gestures of the figures are worthy of a mime troupe. Cammy Brothers, WSJ, 7 May 2022 The Facebook post claims the video shows the North Pole, but the footage shows a dry grassland in the foreground. Dezimey Kum, USA TODAY, 29 Apr. 2022 Their age difference is kept in the foreground by his infantilizing of her, putting the thumb in her mouth. New York Times, 28 Apr. 2022 But perhaps the trailer’s most recognizable callback is that huge dino footstep in the foreground, as characters look on horrified — a classic shot callback to a scene in the first film featuring its big bad dino: the T-Rex. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Apr. 2022 Later, Alex kills a man at the gym, and the murder goes unseen and unheard by the woman working out in the foreground. Peter Debruge, Variety, 27 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Seyfried is careful to foreground those qualities in her own work. Caroline Framke, Variety, 5 May 2022 Everything might rise even higher with those resonant histories in the background rather than foreground. Los Angeles Times, 15 Apr. 2022 The index reifies it as a book, at the same time that the choice to foreground one topic or another might surprise even the author. Alexandra Horowitz, The Atlantic, 16 Mar. 2022 With a couple of secondary exceptions, Winning Time keeps the real names for all of its participants, and Borenstein’s instinct is to foreground his characters’ myriad warts. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Feb. 2022 Kazin shows great instincts throughout for discerning which specific cases to zoom in on and which historical actors to foreground, all in service of his core argument. Sam Rosenfeld, The New Republic, 15 Feb. 2022 Designer Liz Claiborne, foreground, in New York City in 1987. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, 10 Feb. 2022 With Tanya, White allowed Coolidge to foreground the melancholy, or at least place it in bracing balance with her campier tendencies. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, 16 Aug. 2021 Further, policy must foreground those who will be most at risk from death prediction tech and put advocates in charge of building policy to control and contain it. Brandy Schillace, Wired, 28 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of foreground


1695, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1892, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of foreground was in 1695

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Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Foreground.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for foreground


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

More from Merriam-Webster on foreground

Nglish: Translation of foreground for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of foreground for Arabic Speakers


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