fore·​shad·​ow fȯr-ˈsha-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce foreshadow (audio)
foreshadowed; foreshadowing; foreshadows

transitive verb

: to represent, indicate, or typify beforehand : prefigure
The hero's predicament is foreshadowed in the first chapter.
foreshadower noun

Example Sentences

Her early interest in airplanes foreshadowed her later career as a pilot. The hero's predicament is foreshadowed in the first chapter.
Recent Examples on the Web The trend, which industry experts say is in its beginning stages, could foreshadow a further emptying of downtowns already wounded by the pandemic. Jaclyn Peiser, Washington Post, 29 May 2023 Costume designer Alex Bovaird helped foreshadow the unlikely undoing. Mikey O'connell, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 May 2023 And while this wasn’t technically an itinerant show, half of its participants crossed an ocean to take part, foreshadowing the globetrotting ways of today’s luxury brands. Bridget Foley, Town & Country, 26 Apr. 2023 Would Sanders and the outspoken progressives who were elected in 2018, often calling themselves socialists, foreshadow a break with the Democrats on the left, and would the Trumpist nationalists who have entered the Republican Party rupture the G.O.P. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, 14 Dec. 2022 They’re followed by the ominous finger snaps that foreshadow a story of love caught in the crossfire of racial hatred in a multiracial New York neighborhood in the 1950s. WSJ, 9 Feb. 2022 The survey results may foreshadow a particular problem for states that are hostile to reproductive rights, Brown said. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 20 Apr. 2023 Months before her office became the subject of an inquiry by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration, State Attorney Monique Worrell and Orange County Sheriff John Mina had a contentious conversation that foreshadowed much of the fallout from the deadly Pine Hills shooting spree. Christopher Cann, Orlando Sentinel, 21 Mar. 2023 The reduction targets could radically alter the Netherlands' lucrative agriculture sector, which is known for its intensive farming, and may also foreshadow similar reforms — and protests — in other European nations whose farmers also pump out pollutants. Mike Corder, ajc, 10 July 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'foreshadow.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1577, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of foreshadow was in 1577

Dictionary Entries Near foreshadow

Cite this Entry

“Foreshadow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


fore·​shad·​ow -ˈshad-ō How to pronounce foreshadow (audio)
: to give a hint or suggestion of beforehand
foreshadower noun

More from Merriam-Webster on foreshadow

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