fore·​shad·​ow | \fȯr-ˈsha-(ˌ)dō \
foreshadowed; foreshadowing; foreshadows

Definition of foreshadow 

transitive verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from foreshadow

foreshadower \ fȯr-​ˈsha-​də-​wər \ noun

Examples of foreshadow in a Sentence

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

What the ample shrubbery gently foreshadowed, wood and steel more ominously made clear: Do. not. Billboard, "Eerie Waves: Memories of an Abandoned Radio Home, From Dido to Whitesnake's David Coverdale (& the Incredible Hulk)," 6 July 2018 Its warmly lyrical solos for trombone (Russo’s instrument), exquisitely translucent orchestration and unmistakable self-assurance foreshadow artistic successes yet to come. Howard Reich,, "Remembering the genius of William Russo," 18 June 2018 The artist’s future is foreshadowed by several enthusiastic if embryonic paintings, a fantastic homemade tuxedo jacket of clear plastic striated with silvery threads, and of course, the tantalizing suggestion of puppets. Sharon Mizota,, "The mystery of the puppet-head box: Why an Iowa childhood has been unpacked in an L.A. gallery," 30 May 2018 The picture foreshadows Post-Impressionism and its skewing of perspective and space, and even Abstract Expressionism with its emphasis on the flatness of the painting surface. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, "Beauty in Full Bloom," 13 Apr. 2018 His stories unfold this way, full of the small, intriguing details that in a novel might work as foreshadowing. Alice Bolin, Longreads, "The Daughter as Detective," 26 June 2018 That could foreshadow a costly battle with Didi Chuxing, which is backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group and Alibaba. Liza Lin, WSJ, "Meituan Wants to Be the Grubhub of China (and the Yelp, and the Groupon, and the Kayak)," 21 June 2018 The home, as foreshadowed in the previous episodes, is on the market. Rebecca Farley,, "The Fosters Moves Out: Saying Goodbye To TV's Most Temperate Family Drama," 7 June 2018 Just as well, as this foreshadows his legendarily awkward encounter with the Sacramento Kings in 2016 -- but that comes later. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "Drake's 8 Most Memorable Sports Fan Moments," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'foreshadow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of foreshadow

1577, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about foreshadow

Share foreshadow

Statistics for foreshadow

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for foreshadow

The first known use of foreshadow was in 1577

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for foreshadow



English Language Learners Definition of foreshadow

: to give a suggestion of (something that has not yet happened)


fore·​shad·​ow | \fȯr-ˈsha-dō \
foreshadowed; foreshadowing

Kids Definition of foreshadow

: to give a hint of beforehand

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on foreshadow

What made you want to look up foreshadow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!