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fore·​taste ˈfȯr-ˌtāst How to pronounce foretaste (audio)
: a small anticipatory sample
: an advance indication or warning


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fore·​taste fȯr-ˈtāst How to pronounce foretaste (audio)
foretasted; foretasting; foretastes

transitive verb

: to taste beforehand : anticipate
Choose the Right Synonym for foretaste

prospect, outlook, anticipation, foretaste mean an advance realization of something to come.

prospect implies expectation of a particular event, condition, or development of definite interest or concern.

the prospect of a quiet weekend

outlook suggests a forecasting of the future.

a favorable outlook for the economy

anticipation implies a prospect or outlook that involves advance suffering or enjoyment of what is foreseen.

the anticipation of her arrival

foretaste implies an actual though brief or partial experience of something forthcoming.

the frost was a foretaste of winter

Examples of foretaste in a Sentence

Noun These layoffs are only a foretaste of what's to come.
Recent Examples on the Web
Paramilitary veterans forced Gainsbourg to cancel a concert in Strasbourg in 1980, a foretaste of the rise of the French extreme right. Roger Cohen, New York Times, 25 Sep. 2023 Few might have objected to descriptions of Thursday as a throwback to spring, or a foretaste of fall. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2023 Some scientists say the unusually persistent pattern of infection in the U.K. right now might offer a foretaste of a future in which Covid-19 is ever-present in the background, causing mild infections in most people and severe illness in an unlucky few, much like influenza. Jason Douglas, WSJ, 9 Oct. 2021 Washington slid away on Saturday from the sultry precincts of great heat, recording high temperatures only in the 80s, warm enough to avoid accusations of total backsliding, but not nearly so hot as Friday’s full foretaste of summer. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 3 June 2023 The conspicuous presence of this triad of combat aircraft in such an unlikely setting offers a foretaste of what this historical manor has in store for its guests. Miquel Ros, CNN, 2 May 2023 This is a foretaste. WSJ, 8 Nov. 2022 For instance, the three rounds of stimulus checks that most Americans were given to help blunt the economic impact of the pandemic were a foretaste of how a universal basic income—once considered a radical proposal—could sustain people in times of struggle. Ekemini Uwan, The Atlantic, 14 July 2021 The inspections dispute may have been a foretaste of the nuclear nightmare that European allies fear will come to pass if Iran responds to U.S. sanctions by racing to develop a bomb, but Pompeo’s team rejected the idea that the snapback effort makes that more likely. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, 22 Sep. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'foretaste.' 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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of foretaste was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near foretaste

Cite this Entry

“Foretaste.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a sample or partial experience of something that will not be fully experienced until later
the cold day was a foretaste of winter

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