fore·​see | \ fȯr-ˈsē How to pronounce foresee (audio) \
foresaw\ fȯr-​ˈsȯ How to pronounce foresee (audio) \; foreseen\ fȯr-​ˈsēn How to pronounce foresee (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 foresee (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 For now, though, most economists foresee inflation remaining largely under control., "Even as the economy heats up, Fed to stick with near-zero rates," 26 Apr. 2021 The system’s situational awareness can help detect, foresee and solve problems, even when circumstances are in constant flux — scenarios as critical as an entire city’s water and power supply. Aj Abdallat, Forbes, "The Future Of Smart Cities’ Utilities: Powering Progress With AI," 12 Apr. 2021 Goldman figures the central bank will foresee the unemployment rate falling from the current 6.2% to 4.4% at year-end. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Fed aims for tricky balance between wounded economy, booming outlook as it unveils new forecasts," 16 Mar. 2021 The timing of Pompeo’s designation also irritated some Democratic foreign policymakers who foresee complications in the ramifications of the label. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "Biden team ‘reviewing’ Pompeo’s Uighur genocide designation for procedural flaws," 27 Jan. 2021 The only potential problem Freeman could foresee is if the federal government adds more vaccine distribution channels. Jen Christensen, CNN, "J&J says Covid-19 vaccine still on track despite manufacturing snafu," 1 Apr. 2021 Many analysts foresee the economy expanding at an annual rate of at least 5 percent in the current quarter and 7 percent for all of 2021. Paul Wiseman, Anchorage Daily News, "US unemployment claims tick up to 745,000 as layoffs remain high," 4 Mar. 2021 Some experts foresee higher inflation as a positive for investors over the long haul. Jessica Menton, USA TODAY, "Dow sheds 500 points as bond yields climb on Powell's inflation remarks," 4 Mar. 2021 The researchers foresee a similar future for the new coronavirus. New York Times, "The Future of the Coronavirus? An Annoying Childhood Infection," 12 Jan. 2021

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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Statistics for foresee

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Foresee.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for foresee



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.


transitive verb
foresaw; foreseen; foreseeing

Legal Definition of foresee

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

Comments on foresee

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