fu·​ture | \ ˈfyü-chər How to pronounce future (audio) \

Definition of future

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : that is to be specifically : existing after death doctrine of a future life — John Kenrick
2 : of, relating to, or constituting a verb tense expressive of time yet to come
3 : existing or occurring at a later time met his future wife We cannot foretell future events.



Definition of future (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : time that is to come
b : what is going to happen
2 : an expectation of advancement or progressive development
3 : something (such as a bulk commodity) bought for future acceptance or sold for future delivery usually used in plural grain futures
4a : the future tense of a language
b : a verb form in the future tense

Synonyms & Antonyms for future

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of future in a Sentence

Adjective We cannot predict future events. Future generations will benefit from this research. Noun We're making plans for the future. They will hire more people sometime in the future. What do you think you will be doing in the future? What does the future hold for you? It's impossible to predict the future. The company faces an uncertain future. The future was already decided for her. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective If future seasons keep to that pace, Netflix will need to produce at least five seasons of the show in order to tell the story in its entirety. Jennifer Maas, Variety, 4 Aug. 2022 The under-construction One Congress office tower is fully leased ahead of its opening, while Bain & Co. recently leased a future nine-story office just off the Boston Public Garden. Catherine Carlock, BostonGlobe.com, 4 Aug. 2022 Inflation erodes the value of a bond’s future payments. Kathy Orton, Washington Post, 4 Aug. 2022 Additionally, positively changing your future involves being true to yourself. Serenity Gibbons, Forbes, 4 Aug. 2022 Lilly is hoping to boost future revenue with sales of newer drugs, including Mounjaro, recently introduced to treat diabetes. Will Feuer, WSJ, 4 Aug. 2022 In addition to gender-lensing policy decisions, our leaders should also future-proof our economy by creating laws to increase women’s economic equity. Katica Roy, Fortune, 4 Aug. 2022 James, though, could use pending free agency as leverage, forcing the Lakers into strengthening their roster by forfeiting even more future draft picks. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug. 2022 Congress passed the bill known as the CHIPS Act last week, which supporters say will avoid future supply chain shortages. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, 4 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Unable to plan for the distant future, Americans are shifting a focus towards the now. Kaitlyn Koterbski, Fortune, 5 Aug. 2022 Prices will probably remain elevated for the foreseeable future—or at least until there is some meaningful ebb of the conflict in Ukraine. Megha Mandavia, WSJ, 4 Aug. 2022 Zaslav is believed to be more skeptical of the idea that streaming is the end-all, be-all of Hollywood's future. Daniel Arkin, NBC News, 4 Aug. 2022 Lewis, 39, has one foot firmly planted in the jazz sax traditions of John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, and the other pointed boldly to the future. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Aug. 2022 Despite the immediate differences between the two candidates, both have said the election is about the future, not 2020. Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic, 4 Aug. 2022 But the future lies a long way from Sicily, along with an Emmy campaign and, perhaps, some recovery time as well. Daniel D'addario, Variety, 4 Aug. 2022 Bringing our economy into a green future means including everyone and providing an opportunity to make sure Black and Brown entrepreneurs and job seekers benefit. Van Jones, CNN, 4 Aug. 2022 What would a future like that reflect of America’s approach to public health? Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 4 Aug. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of future


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for future

Adjective and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin futurus about to be — more at be

Learn More About future

Time Traveler for future

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near future



Future Farmer

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Statistics for future

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Future.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/future. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for future


fu·​ture | \ ˈfyü-chər How to pronounce future (audio) \

Kids Definition of future

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: coming after the present future events



Kids Definition of future (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the period of time that is to come What will happen in the future?
2 : the chance of future success You have a bright future.



Legal Definition of future

: a contract traded on an exchange in which a party agrees to buy or sell a quantity of a bulk commodity (as soybeans) at a specified future date and at a set price usually used in pl.

Note: If the price of the commodity has gone up when the future date arrives, the buyer in the contract profits. If the price has gone down, the seller profits.

More from Merriam-Webster on future

Nglish: Translation of future for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of future for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about future


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