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 The stars foresee Thanksgiving desserts in your future. Catherine Urban, Bon Appétit, "November Horoscopes: Thanksgiving Dessert Edition," 1 Nov. 2019 Levy foresees a future in which the now-disparate threads of pharmaceutical technology, medical devices, and digital systems are routinely integrated—and potentially even networked together. Scientific American, "As Medicine Evolves, So Too Must Those Who Assure Its Quality," 25 Sep. 2019 The oddsmakers in Las Vegas also do not foresee the season going well: Miami has the worst preseason odds to win the AFC East (60/1), the AFC championship (250/1) and Super Bowl LIV (500/1) this season. Safid Deen,, "Dolphins take 2019 season expectations by NFL analysts as sign of disrespect," 30 Aug. 2019 The petition has amounted to over 1.6 million signatures and, as Bloys explained, was not something HBO could have foreseen. Eric Todisco,, "HBO Exec Says Backlash to Game of Thrones’ Final Season Has Not Affected Production on Prequel," 24 July 2019 Few, though, could have foreseen this type of start for the Dodgers. Jack Harris,, "Dodgers have high expectations after storybook start to season," 6 July 2019 When the Leafs last won the Cup, in 1967, players and fans must have foreseen good things ahead. New York Times, "St. Louis Celebrates, Leaving Other Cities to Sing the Title Drought Blues," 13 June 2019 That includes Woodruff’s momentum-changing homer in the third, a blast that nobody could have foreseen. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Another Postseason Stumble for Clayton Kershaw," 13 Oct. 2018 Yet most analysts foresee no significant agreement emerging this fall in the conflict, which is fundamentally over Beijing’s aggressive drive to supplant America’s technological dominance., "WASHINGTON — For a second straight time, the Federal Reserve is set to cut interest rates this week to try to protect the economy from the consequences of a global slowdown and President Trump’s trade war with China.," 17 Sep. 2019

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

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Foresee.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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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

Comments on foresee

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not agreeing with established beliefs

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