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

There will be no shortage of suitors for Greene, who would fill a present and future role in the back-end of a contender’s bullpen. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Why Detroit Tigers should be aggressive this trade deadline season," 22 June 2018 Prosecutors should be cautious of setting a precedent that would put a halt to all future research and development of automated cars. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Self-driving Uber fatal crash: Experts say prosecution would be precedent setting," 22 June 2018 Rent control benefits, like those of Proposition 13, could also be allowed to be passed on to future generations via inheritance. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, "Real estate expert talks about potential impact of rent control," 12 July 2018 But beneath the attention-getting promotion there was plenty of substance, as illustrated by his multiple collaborations with Celia Cruz and future salsa superstar Rubén Blades. James Porter, Chicago Reader, "Iconic Trombonist Willie Colón brings his Nuyorican sounds to Millennium Park," 12 July 2018 Rewarding innovators with monopoly pricing power compensates them for the costs of research, and ostensibly incentivizes future innovation. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "It’s Normal for the U.S. to Put Corporate Profits Above Babies’ Health," 10 July 2018 As a result, under new president Thomas Bach, a former German Olympic fencer, the IOC has taken an 180-degree turn, says Perelman, asking future host cities to only build structures that are necessary for the future of the city. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Will LA’s ‘no-build’ Olympics spur Southern California’s next building boom?," 10 July 2018 The case also had threatened to subject Texas again to Department of Justice supervision in future redistricting and election cases. Kevin Diaz, San Antonio Express-News, "Supreme Court give Texas partial victory in racial gerrymandering case, state must redraw one district," 29 June 2018 Pfizer’s venture-group approach offers an alternative that holds promise for future research. Allan Hugh Cole Jr., STAT, "Finding new treatments for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s shouldn’t be up to pharma alone," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

All future missions will go on the Block 5 version, optimized for reusability. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Japanese rocket blows up, NASA chief ponders purpose of SLS," 6 July 2018 The Aurora Downtown group has now taken that over for the future. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Culture Stock leaves downtown Aurora building with future site unknown," 13 July 2018 Despite a dip in his numbers, Fulmer is still performing like a pitcher who can top a team’s starting rotation for the foreseeable future. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers' Michael Fulmer, Nick Castellanos swirling in trade rumors," 13 July 2018 The Gileads Robinson and Atwood have given us are testimonies to the past and templates for the future. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "What two fictional Gileads can teach us about America in 2018," 12 July 2018 Barrio has already begun reaching out to people in the CCSU community, making plans for the future. Kelli Stacy, courant.com, "Central Connecticut State University Names New Athletic Director," 12 July 2018 It was featured in a public tour for the first time on July 5, and the committee plans to invite the public back to see the temple and Hopffgarten’s work every first Thursday for the foreseeable future. Maria L. La Ganga, idahostatesman, "What’s behind ’60s-era paneling at El Korah Shrine? A ballroom’s worth of ’20s art.," 12 July 2018 Now, for the first time, the trio agreed to discuss their illustrious journeys in the sport, their relationships with one another and their plans for the future. Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "First family of Fort Worth basketball still shining after careers at TCU, Kansas," 12 July 2018 The participants began to fashion a plan to bring in material support and plan for the future. Steve West, Sun-Sentinel.com, "A rally for MAMA | Opinion," 9 July 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

17 Sep 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

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