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


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

The answer is a very clear no – thanks to the forethought, and strong historical knowledge, of the country’s Founders. Eliga Gould, The Conversation, "The American Founders made sure the president could never suspend Congress," 3 Sep. 2019 Tea, coffee, and other beverages Tea bags, alcohol, and bottled or packaged juice are easy enough to keep on hand, but coffee requires forethought. NBC News, "What to have on hand to be ready if a natural disaster strikes," 28 Aug. 2019 The forethought reflects the Singaporean government’s broader approach. The Economist, "Even Singapore’s ruling party struggles to plan for everything," 1 Aug. 2019 Muhammad bin Salman, the crown prince, announced it with fanfare (and scant forethought) in 2016, hoping for a $2trn valuation that would dwarf any other public company on the planet. The Economist, "The world’s biggest potential IPO may be on again," 6 July 2019 If the incidents were indeed linked, as the government claims, that would imply some degree of forethought by the plotters and point to the possibility of a wider conspiracy. The Economist, "Killings and claims of an attempted coup rock Ethiopia," 25 June 2019 Avoid starting any significant endeavors without careful forethought. Tribune Content Agency,, "Horoscope for June 25, 2019: Pisces, your past has given you wisdom and grit; Aquarius, march to your own beat," 25 June 2019 There aren't any relays involved in GNSS, but the same complete lack of forethought about security and bad actors is baked right into the protocol. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Claims of Tesla hack wide of the mark—we dig into GNSS hacking," 22 June 2019 Not all of these pregnancies are due to a lack of forethought, though. Susan Scutti, CNN, "Epilepsy drugs linked to higher risk of birth defects, study says," 12 June 2019

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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Statistics for forethought

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for forethought

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

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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

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Comments on forethought

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


to spread over or through

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