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future

play
adjective fu·ture \ ˈfyü-chər \
Updated on: 26 Jul 2017

Definition of future

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.

Examples of future in a Sentence

  1. We cannot predict future events.

  2. Future generations will benefit from this research.

Recent Examples of future from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of future

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


2

future

noun

Definition of future

1 a :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
4 a :the future tense of a language
b :a verb form in the future tense

Examples of future in a Sentence

  1. We're making plans for the future.

  2. They will hire more people sometime in the future.

  3. What do you think you will be doing in the future?

  4. What does the future hold for you?

  5. It's impossible to predict the future.

  6. The company faces an uncertain future.

  7. The future was already decided for her.

Recent Examples of future from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of future

future Synonyms


Financial Definition of FUTURE

future

What It Is

Futures are financial contracts giving the buyer an obligation to purchase an asset (and the seller an obligation to sell an asset) at a set price at a future point in time.

How It Works

Futures are also called futures contracts.

The assets often traded in futures contracts include commodities, stocks, and bonds. Grain, precious metals, electricity, oil, beef, orange juice, and natural gas are traditional examples of commodities, but foreign currencies, emissions credits, bandwidth, and certain financial instruments are also part of today's commodity markets.

There are two kinds of futures traders: hedgers and speculators. Hedgers do not usually seek a profit by trading commodities ev but rather seek to stabilize the revenues or costs of their business operations. Their gains or losses are usually offset to some degree by a corresponding loss or gain in the market for the underlying physical commodity.

Speculators are usually not interested in taking possession of the underlying assets. They essentially place bets on the future prices of certain commodities. Thus, if you disagree with the consensus that wheat prices are going to fall, you might buy a futures contract. If your prediction is right and wheat prices increase, you could make money by selling the futures contract (which is now worth a lot more) before it expires (this prevents you from having to take delivery of the wheat as well). Speculators are often blamed for big price swings, but they also provide liquidity to the futures market.

Futures contracts are standardized, meaning that they specify the underlying commodity's quality, quantity, and delivery so that the prices mean the same thing to everyone in the market. For example, each kind of crude oil (light sweet crude, for example) must meet the same quality specifications so that light sweet crude from one producer is no different from another and the buyer of light sweet crude futures knows exactly what he's getting.

Futures exchanges depend on clearing members to manage the payments between buyer and seller. They are usually large banks and financial services companies. Clearing members guarantee each trade and thus require traders to make good-faith deposits (called margins) in order to ensure that the trader has sufficient funds to handle potential losses and will not default on the trade. The risk borne by clearing members lends further support to the strict quality, quantity, and delivery specifications of futures contracts.

Regulation
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulates commodities futures trading through its enforcement of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1974 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. The CFTC works to ensure the competitiveness, efficiency, and integrity of the commodities futures markets and protects against manipulation, abusive trading, and fraud.

Futures Exchanges
There are several futures exchanges. Common ones include The New York Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board of Options Exchange, the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange, the Kansas City Board of Trade, and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.

Why It Matters

Futures are a great way for companies involved in the commodities industries to stabilize their prices and thus their operations and financial performance. Futures give them the ability to "set" prices or costs well in advance, which in turn allows them to plan better, smooth out cash flows, and communicate with shareholders more confidently.

Futures trading is a zero-sum game; that is, if somebody makes a million dollars, somebody else loses a million dollars. Because futures contracts can be purchased on margin, meaning that the investor can buy a contract with a partial loan from his or her broker, futures traders have an incredible amount of leverage with which to trade thousands or millions of dollars worth of contracts with very little of their own money.



FUTURE Defined for English Language Learners

future

play
adjective

Definition of future for English Language Learners

  • : coming after the present time : existing in the future

  • —used to say what someone or something will be


future

noun

Definition of future for English Language Learners

  • : the period of time that will come after the present time

  • the future : the events that will happen after the present time

  • : the condition or situation of someone or something in the time that will come


FUTURE Defined for Kids

1

future

play
adjective fu·ture \ ˈfyü-chər \

Definition of future for Students

:coming after the present
  • future events

2

future

noun

Definition of future for Students

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.

Law Dictionary

future

noun fu·ture

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.


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