fore·​thought | \ ˈfȯr-ˌthȯt How to pronounce forethought (audio) \

Definition of forethought

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a thinking or planning out in advance : premeditation
2 : consideration for the future



Definition of forethought (Entry 2 of 2)


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Examples of forethought in a Sentence

Noun Her decision showed a lack of forethought. With a little forethought, you can save yourself a lot of work later on.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There does need to be a degree of forethought by educational institutions, said Robert Dinerstein, director of the Disability Rights Law Clinic at American University Washington College of Law. Safia Samee Ali, NBC News, 9 Sep. 2021 Focus on giving your most important decisions adequate forethought. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 22 Aug. 2021 Another critic noted that the deputy had the forethought to have already had naloxone at the ready in case it was needed. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Aug. 2021 Trying to compensate for this aerodynamic anomaly takes dexterity, forethought and perhaps a few more—or maybe less—beers. David Kindy, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Aug. 2021 Most of these chefs want to see their salsas populating small markets, to dramatically improve the meals home cooks throw together without much time or forethought. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Apr. 2021 Secondly, taking walls down in the family’s main living space would require significant forethought. David Nash, House Beautiful, 14 May 2021 And with a little forethought, those benefits compound. Outside Online, 6 July 2021 Every gray swan can be mitigated with enough forethought. Michael Mcmullen, Forbes, 15 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forethought.' 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 forethought


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for forethought

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The first known use of forethought was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

13 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Forethought.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for forethought



English Language Learners Definition of forethought

: careful thinking or planning about the future


fore·​thought | \ ˈfōr-ˌthȯt How to pronounce forethought (audio) \

Kids Definition of forethought

: careful thinking or planning for the future

More from Merriam-Webster on forethought

Nglish: Translation of forethought for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of forethought for Arabic Speakers


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