fu·​ture | \ˈfyü-chər \

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for future

Synonyms: Adjective

coming, unborn

Synonyms: Noun

by-and-by, futurity, hereafter, offing, tomorrow

Antonyms: Adjective

bygone, past

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of future in a Sentence


We cannot predict future events. Future generations will benefit from this research.


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

For Zachary Tabellione, a recent Glastonbury High graduate, college baseball isn’t among his future plans. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "Hartford, Glastonbury Legion Teams Meet At Dunkin Donuts Park," 3 July 2018 Representatives from the Bruins, Lightning, Sharks and Stars each made pilgrimages too, attempting to sell Tavares on sunshine or cold cash, immediate hopes or future plans, this or that. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "In Joining an Up-and-Coming Maple Leafs Squad, John Tavares Gets to Live Out His Dream," 2 July 2018 Just don't ask him about LeBron James' future plans. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Richard Jefferson jokingly 'ends' friendship with LeBron James," 27 June 2018 Miami’s billionaire condo king is making a big investment in South Florida’s future workforce. Rene Rodriguez, miamiherald, "Jorge and Darlene Pérez donate $1 million to FIU Honors College," 13 July 2018 Alcon The Fort Worth Chamber and city economic development staff members asked Alcon for feedback on the company's future plans in Fort Worth, but haven't had detailed conversations, economic development director Robert Sturns said. Gordon Dickson, star-telegram, "No need to shed tears yet. Alcon promises to stay in Fort Worth after spinoff," 9 July 2018 Situated in a space adjacent to the Shell gas station mini-market, the interior will be revamped with future plans of adding an 800-square-foot patio area. Carolina Gusman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego County restaurants start the season with summer specials," 21 June 2018 Were any of them viable as future leaders who could replace her? Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Did Trump Just Help Stop Brexit?," 13 July 2018 Despite the changes in its future mission plans, the structure of the craft hasn't changed, because Orion was always supposed to be a multi-destination vehicle. Sarah Scoles, WIRED, "Inside the Test Chamber for NASA's Astronaut Vehicle Double," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Next Up In Science Command Line delivers daily updates from the near-future. Angela Chen, The Verge, "These are the technology advances that could end animal farming," 9 Nov. 2018 Stay tuned for more from the young singer-songwriter in the near future. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Meet Jade Bird, the Razor-Sharp British Folk Singer-Songwriter Taking Her Cues From Americana," 6 Nov. 2018 The second video, briefer, goes into Blizzard's plans for Heroes of the Storm in the near future. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "BlizzCon 2018: Warcraft III remastered, and Overwatch gets a new cowboy," 2 Nov. 2018 In the near future, Holmes and Vaziri expect experiments that will test what people perceive when photons are put into strange quantum states. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 It's taken almost half a century, but Judy Blume fans will finally get to see Margaret, Nancy, Gretchen, and Janie discuss periods and bra padding on the big screen in the very near future. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Judy Blume's "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" Is Finally Being Turned Into a Movie," 18 Oct. 2018 With these transformations set to take place over the next few years, both downtown Waco and Magnolia Market could look completely different in the near future. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Are Chip and Joanna Gaines Moving Their Magnolia Headquarters?," 14 Oct. 2018 Sources on the Hill told Fox News that the force of a subpoena was not necessary and that the committee plans to bring Strzok back in the near future for public testimony, something the president said was necessary. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "Peter Strzok grilled for hours on Capitol Hill over any involvement in start of Russia probe," 2 Oct. 2018 With his hard-partying days in the past and a sweet future ahead, Russell is eager to shed his former home . Becky Bracken, Real Estate News and Advice | Realtor.com®, "'Pawn Stars' Star Chumlee Cuts Price on His Las Vegas Party Pad," 2 Oct. 2018

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


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


see future entry 1

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Statistics for future

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for future

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

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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



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 future : 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 \

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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Comments on future

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


playful or foolish behavior

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