foreground

noun
fore·​ground | \ ˈfȯr-ˌgrau̇nd \

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

But where his teacher had shown Etna with crumbling ruins in the foreground, a sign of the Old World’s decline, the younger artist envisioned a fresh New World, full of prosperity and promise. John Wilmerding, WSJ, "Nature’s Explosive Power," 28 Dec. 2018 Located less than two hours from Tokyo, the site is built on a cliff with dramatic views of rugged Sagai Bay, with orange groves in the foreground. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "28 Places Our Travel Specialists Say You Should Go in 2019," 17 Dec. 2018 Abuse victim and gymnast Aly Raisman testifies at the January sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar before the former team doctor, in foreground, was given an effective life sentence. Katy Stech Ferek And Rebecca Davis O’brien, WSJ, "USA Gymnastics Bankruptcy Could Help Victims," 7 Dec. 2018 Late last June, Gigi Hadid shared an Instagram of herself on a boat in Mykonos, her Merry bag perched in the foreground. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "The Story Behind Susan Alexandra, Fashion's Most Delightful Handbag Brand," 15 Oct. 2018 The weighty, intense Disasterpeace score underlines the film’s sense of dread, but mostly, Mitchell gets a long series of unsettling moments out of simply having someone in the background of a shot moving toward the foreground. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "The new horror film canon (and where to stream it)," 1 Nov. 2018 Lede image: Background images and foreground (right) from The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana, illustrated by Victo Ngai, 2018. Elise Peterson, Glamour, "The Kama Sutra Gets a Feminist Makeover," 17 July 2018 Lisa Eadicicco The Galaxy S9+s Live Focus mode, which sharpens the subject in the foreground against a blurred background, performed much better than the Pixel 2 XL’s Portrait Mode, but wasn’t quite as detailed as the iPhone X’s photo. Lisa Eadicicco, Time, "Review: Samsung Didn't Change Much With the Galaxy S9 — And That's Great," 8 Mar. 2018 Muñoz loves giving tours of the warehouse for that very reason – the background becomes the foreground. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "Behind the scenes at Music Circus: "The better you are at your job, the less people notice"," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The hip-hop veteran No ID produced the album’s 10 tracks, using chopped-up soul samples and crisp rhythms for controlled, bittersweet soundscapes that foreground the lyrics. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Surprise Album Makes Marriage Into a Spectacle," 17 June 2018 The second season of GLOW, which was released in its entirety late last month, continues to foreground Ruth and Debbie’s relationship, culminating in a moment of violence and a furious, ugly fight in a hospital room. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Love Story of Debbie and Ruth," 10 July 2018 This doorstop of a biography foregrounds Obama’s love life in his early years, traces his journey-to-blackness narrative and seeks to challenge the near-monopoly the 44th president has on stories about his own life. Joumana Khatib, New York Times, "New in Paperback: ‘Rising Star,’ ‘Mrs. Fletcher’," 8 June 2018 Still, Killing Eve cleverly resists the temptation to foreground the possibility of Villanelle’s redemption. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Killing Eve and the Riddle of Why Women Kill," 28 May 2018 Writer-director Tully (Septien, Ping Pong Summer) is interested in exploring several themes within the film’s surreal dream logic, but nothing is foregrounded more than good old-fashioned Catholic guilt. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Don’t Leave Home is a wonderfully atmospheric waking nightmare," 6 May 2018 And while every character does get a laugh, a heroic choice, or some other moment to shine, fans will no doubt be frustrated if their particular favorite hero isn’t foregrounded as much as other characters are. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Avengers: Infinity War is stunning, hilarious, and heartbreaking," 24 Apr. 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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Last Updated

6 Jan 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 \

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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