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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Valve is making Half-Life Alyx free for current and future owners of the Valve Index headset. Amrita Khalid, Quartz, "Valve unveiled the first new Half-Life game in 13 years," 21 Nov. 2019 At the same time, William and Kate, both 37, are moving further into their future roles as King and Queen. Monique Jessen, PEOPLE.com, "Prince William and Prince Harry Have ‘a Lot of Hurt and Unresolved Issues,’ Says Friend," 21 Nov. 2019 British papers were full of analysis of his future role in the family, particularly after the death of the queen, who is 93. Mark Landler, New York Times, "After Disastrous Epstein Interview, Prince Andrew Steps Down From Public Duties," 20 Nov. 2019 This can become a very interesting trend in future. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "For Flipkart, data scientists are as critical as software engineers," 18 Nov. 2019 The past, present and future flow into each other like lines of the triple-spirals carved into the stone of Brigid’s home. Carmel Mc Mahon, Longreads, "Brigid, Magdalene, My Mother, and Me," 13 Nov. 2019 Department witnesses will be entitled to $300 an hour from the agency for past and future legal representation. Grace Segers, CBS News, "House prepares for high-stakes public hearings in impeachment inquiry — live updates," 13 Nov. 2019 They are expected to talk about the respective county Engineering Departments, and address current and future infrastructure projects in the tri-county region. Roy Kent, Houston Chronicle, "THIS WEEK: Katy-area county engineers to discuss infrastructure projects," 10 Nov. 2019 Enough water has passed under enough bridges that Barnett, 73, can be magnanimous about the past, present and future. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "How Gary Barnett’s CU Buffs journey came full circle: “It absolutely blows you away”," 7 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Any interested family should be open to contact with Nathalia’s biological mother in the future. BostonGlobe.com, "Nathalia is a funny and smart elementary school-aged girl of Caucasian descent. She is described as “easy going” and “one to go with the flow.” Nathalia loves animals and she also enjoys creating art.," 24 Nov. 2019 The Wooster Trails neighborhoods is planned to open in the first quarter, followed by Sterling Point and Burnett Fields in the future. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Friendswood Development to open first neighborhoods in Baytown Crossings," 22 Nov. 2019 Salloum said the goal in the future is to increase its staff. John Benson, cleveland, "New HomeSnacks list names Seven Hills 10th safest city in Ohio," 22 Nov. 2019 Transportation planners must assume that for the foreseeable future most people will be driving to work alone and will not be carpooling or taking public transit. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: HOV designation is crowding Colorado’s drivers," 21 Nov. 2019 Cleveland Browns star Myles Garrett won't be playing for the foreseeable future after his indefinite suspension was upheld on appeal, the NFL said Thursday. NBC News, "NFL player Myles Garrett's indefinite suspension upheld, claims Mason Rudolph used racial slur," 21 Nov. 2019 GPVs aren’t yet used to identify people in criminal cases—but could be in the future, Zhang says. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Scientists can now identify someone from a single strand of hair," 21 Nov. 2019 When there is increased activity in these brain cells during alcohol drinking, a mouse is less likely to drink again in the future. Cody A. Siciliano, The Conversation, "Brain activity predicts which mice will become compulsive drinkers," 21 Nov. 2019 The endearing young panda is probably the zoo’s last cub for the foreseeable future; his mother, at twenty-one, has reached the age of panda menopause. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "Washington’s Other Drama: The Unbearable Departure of Its Last Panda Cub," 20 Nov. 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for future

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for future

Last Updated

26 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Future.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/future. Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for future



Financial Definition of 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.

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.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce future (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of future

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: coming after the present time : existing in the future
used to say what someone or something will be



English Language Learners Definition of future (Entry 2 of 2)

: the period of time that will come after the present time
: the events that will happen after the present time
: the condition or situation of someone or something in the time that will come


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.

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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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