fore·​shad·​ow | \ fȯr-ˈsha-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce foreshadow (audio) \
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 How to pronounce foreshadower (audio) \ 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

This success foreshadowed the multibillion dollar extreme sports industry. New York Times, "A Look Back at Evel Knievel: A Daredevil Unafraid to Fail," 29 June 2018 Shutdowns there foreshadowed Iran’s 1979 revolution. The Economist, "Iran braces for economic war with America," 17 May 2018 And another part of that November tweet foreshadowed the Boston results. Rachel Axon, USA TODAY, "Shalane Flanagan predicts Desi Linden's Boston Marathon victory in a tweet," 16 Apr. 2018 Foreshadow was, er, foreshadowed All of these speculative execution attacks follow a common set of principles. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Intel’s SGX blown wide open by, you guessed it, a speculative execution attack," 14 Aug. 2018 As stocks have rebounded from a scary early February slide, the up and down may be foreshadowing a new, more-volatile period for markets. Michael A. Pollock, WSJ, "If Market Volatility Is Back, Are You Ready?," 4 Mar. 2018 In fact, an op-ed in the New York Times today foreshadows Trump winning reelection in 2020 due to the strong economy. Fox News, "Trump touts economy in the heartland," 27 July 2018 Does that foreshadow where the epic final battle will take place in Season 8? Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Game of Thrones Season 8 Teaser Is Here and Fans Already Have Theories," 7 Dec. 2018 The report's authors caution that this polarization foreshadows further democratic deterioration, particularly because polarization leads to a less functional government, one less able to compromise and come together to solve big issues. Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, "U.S. democracy is in grave danger, a new Economist report warns," 1 Feb. 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

Statistics for foreshadow

Last Updated

24 Apr 2019

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 How to pronounce foreshadow (audio) \
foreshadowed; foreshadowing

Kids Definition of foreshadow

: to give a hint of beforehand

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on foreshadow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with foreshadow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for foreshadow

Spanish Central: Translation of foreshadow

Nglish: Translation of foreshadow for Spanish Speakers

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).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!