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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But Marta is the heart of the movie—a character who might easily be dismissed as a stock supporting role, but whom Johnson plants in the foreground. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Knives Out Is No Ordinary Murder Mystery," 27 Nov. 2019 Lionel isn’t too good at connecting with people and the initial plot thread is soon put to the side to allow other, bigger socio-political matters and relationships to move into the foreground. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Motherless Brooklyn': Film Review | Telluride 2019," 31 Aug. 2019 The architectural details, including a ladder and door for delivering gas pellets and a metal tube with wire mesh that defused the gas, foreground the idea of intentionality: Someone designed, planned and made these things for a specific purpose. Philip Kennicott, chicagotribune.com, "Will future museums study our migrant cages?," 22 July 2019 From this point in the novel – without giving the plot twist away – everything shifts: One character unexpectedly moves into the foreground while the others drop back, and even the automobile race becomes incidental. April Austin, The Christian Science Monitor, "'A Long Way From Home' shifts from a lively 1950s travelogue to a darker debate over racial identity," 22 Mar. 2018 To continue reading this story, TRY IT NOW Roach’s cameo is cut short as Jesperson glides into the foreground and launches the half-court prayer that ended UT’s season in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas’ Roach experienced with March Madness," 15 Mar. 2018 Treading the line between new age and minimalist ambient music, the seven tracks work as either foreground or background music. Randall Roberts, latimes.com, "California Sounds: Orpheo McCord's meditative percussion, Teenage Wrist's distorted rock and Bludwork's vintage house music," 9 Feb. 2018 The bath looks out into the landscape to the north, with a spectacular birch tree in the foreground. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "The Best Room At ... Troutbeck," 16 Oct. 2019 Better portrait mode A few years ago, phone makers like Apple, Samsung and Huawei introduced cameras that produced portrait mode, also known as the bokeh effect, which sharpened a subject in the foreground and blurred the background. Brian X. Chen, New York Times, "The Reason Your Photos Are About to Get a Lot Better," 15 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Steyer has one priority no one else in the race is foregrounding. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Tom Steyer — please, don’t run for president," 9 July 2019 Shockley foregrounds the historical Dickinson's transgressiveness to reframe the transgression of her poetry. Molly Lambert, The Hollywood Reporter, "Tell It Slant: Modern Women Writers Reflect on Emily Dickinson's Influence," 1 Nov. 2019 People also tend to assume that a committee could never create a consistent voice in a medium that often foregrounds interior states. Ceridwen Dovey, The New Yorker, "Can You Write a Novel as a Group?," 30 Aug. 2019 By foregrounding dreams, instead of relegating them to colorful secondary material in a more conventional history, Beradt allows the fantastical details to speak louder than any interpretation. Mireille Juchau, The New Yorker, "How Dreams Change Under Authoritarianism," 7 Nov. 2019 Burns wisely foregrounds bluegrass music, which is too often caricatured as hidebound and relegated to a single chapter in genre histories. David Cantwell, The New Yorker, "Ken Burns’s Delightful “Country Music” Gets the Big Things Mostly Right," 15 Sep. 2019 The theatrical elements give P2 an air of surreality, while also foregrounding its status as, well, a game. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "Pathologic 2 and What Games Can Learn From Low-Tech Art," 7 June 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of foreground

Noun

1695, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1892, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about foreground

Time Traveler for foreground

Time Traveler

The first known use of foreground was in 1695

See more words from the same year

Statistics for foreground

Last Updated

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Foreground.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/foreground?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=f&file=foregr01. Accessed 12 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for foreground

foreground

noun
How to pronounce foreground (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on foreground

What made you want to look up foreground? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a period of high artistic development

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!