fore·​see | \ fȯr-ˈsē How to pronounce foresee (audio) \
foresaw\ fȯr-​ˈsȯ How to pronounce foresaw (audio) \; foreseen\ fȯr-​ˈsēn How to pronounce foreseen (audio) \; foreseeing

Definition of foresee

transitive verb

: to see (something, such as a development) beforehand He could not have foreseen the consequences of his actions. She foresaw the company's potential and invested early on.

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Other Words from foresee

foreseer \ fȯr-​ˈsē-​ər How to pronounce foreseer (audio) , -​ˈsir \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for foresee

foresee, foreknow, divine, anticipate mean to know beforehand. foresee implies nothing about how the knowledge is derived and may apply to ordinary reasoning and experience. economists should have foreseen the recession foreknow usually implies supernatural assistance, as through revelation. if only we could foreknow our own destinies divine adds to foresee the suggestion of exceptional wisdom or discernment. was able to divine Europe's rapid recovery from the war anticipate implies taking action about or responding emotionally to something before it happens. the waiter anticipated our every need

Examples of foresee in a Sentence

We couldn't have foreseen the consequences of our actions. He foresees a day when all war will cease. She foresaw the company's potential and invested early on.
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Recent Examples on the Web But other economists foresee just a modest impact and believe the recovery should largely stay on course. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Will infections spike, state reopening rollbacks hurt recovery or spur a new recession?," 1 July 2020 There was one thing Kim did not foresee: coronavirus. Choe Sang-hun,, "In North Korea, coronavirus hurts like no sanctions could," 4 July 2020 Still, the chairman does not foresee a return to the low unemployment rates that the country has experienced over the past few years. Jay Heflin, Washington Examiner, "Economy may have bottomed out, Federal Reserve chairman says," 16 June 2020 Amateur scouting director Michael Holmes does not foresee any such agenda heading into the 2020 draft, which begins Wednesday and has been truncated from 40 rounds to five because of the fiscal constraints of the coronavirus shutdown. Henry Schulman,, "Giants foresee more balanced approach than a year ago in this week’s draft," 8 June 2020 Despite years in the video game business as maker of the popular Xbox game console, Microsoft had failed to foresee the rise of game streaming. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "What Mixer’s meltdown means for Microsoft," 25 June 2020 Sixteen percent of them don’t ever foresee a return to prior levels. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy, presented by API: The oil price recovery is not enough for many producers," 25 June 2020 But Swider does not foresee fully opening up to the public anytime soon. NBC News, "Necessary or needless? Three months into the pandemic, Americans are divided on wearing masks," 16 June 2020 Party officials don't foresee having satellite conventions across the country, one idea recently floated. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "GOP, Democratic leaders rush to overhaul convention plans in era of COVID-19," 14 June 2020

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for foresee

Time Traveler

The first known use of foresee was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Foresee.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for foresee


How to pronounce foresee (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of foresee

somewhat formal : to see or become aware of (something that has not yet happened)


fore·​see | \ fȯr-ˈsē How to pronounce foresee (audio) \
foresaw\ -​ˈsȯ \; foreseen\ -​ˈsēn \; foreseeing

Kids Definition of foresee

: to see or know about beforehand I didn't foresee the accident.
foresaw; foreseen; foreseeing

Legal Definition of foresee

: to be aware of the reasonable possibility of (as an occurrence or development) beforehand

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More from Merriam-Webster on foresee

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foresee

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foresee

Spanish Central: Translation of foresee

Nglish: Translation of foresee for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of foresee for Arabic Speakers

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