fore·see | \fȯr-ˈsē \
foresaw\fȯr-ˈsȯ \; foreseen\fȯr-ˈsēn \; 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, -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

That's because the store owner and the partially blind man dressed in character both couldn't foresee what was about to happen. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "Florida man body slams partially blind man in a Minion costume in a ‘prank’ gone wrong," 11 July 2018 Whistler Blackcomb’s roots trace back to a group of gutsy Vancouver entrepreneurs in the 1960s who foresaw Olympic potential in a region with no road access, electricity, or running water., "Is Vail Resorts Killing Whistler’s Spirit?," 9 Apr. 2018 This is someone who, with uncanny clarity, foresaw what everyone else missed. Dennis Kneale, WSJ, "A Guide to TV’s ‘Fall’ Season," 25 Mar. 2018 But when the plane first entered service in 1976, many in the Air Force brass didn't foresee an unbreakable beast that would keep flying for decades. Eric Tegler, Popular Mechanics, "Why the A-10 Warthog Is Such a Badass Plane," 19 Nov. 2016 The daily Suedeutsche Zeitung newspaper said the draft also foresees penalties for asylum-seekers who don’t remain in the first European Union country where they are registered. Washington Post, "EU countries prepare mini-summit as migration row festers," 20 June 2018 Caldas foresees big things for his labels in Asia, too. Ed Christman, Billboard, "Merlin Primed to Reach $500 Million in Annual Collections for Indie Label Members," 18 June 2018 Her coach foresaw a smooth transition from high school to college. Rebecca Lurye, Courant Community, "Former Middletown Swimmer Putting A Face To PTSD," 3 June 2018 Today's breach of the border fence was unprecedented, but long feared and foreseen by the Israeli military. Noga Tarnopolsky,, "Palestinian protesters breach Israel-Gaza border fence; 3 killed, hundreds injured in clashes," 27 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for foresee

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for foresee

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

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More Definitions for foresee



English Language Learners Definition of foresee

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


fore·see | \fȯr-ˈsē \
foresaw\-ˈsȯ \; foreseen\-ˈsēn \; foreseeing

Kids Definition of foresee

: to see or know about beforehand I didn't foresee the accident.


transitive verb
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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Comments on foresee

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